Female cast members took the lead on the majority of the strongest material of the night. Vanessa Bayer appeared in an ad for “G.O.B.” tampons, made for women by Republicans: the writers’ take on how conservative male politicians understand the female anatomy was both funny and unsettling. Cecily Strong opened and closed a commercial parodying the self-importance and complete ignorance of the election’s undecided voters, a group the show has needled in the past.
In non-political material, Nasim Pedrad and Jay Pharoah had fun exploring the new on-air relationship between Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan. It’s clear that the show’s writers are fond of Ripa, as throughout the years she’s been portrayed as ditzy but well-meaning and ambitious, tiny but unexpectedly strong. And McKinnon again took a star turn in a pleasantly bizarre sketch where parents introduce their daughter Evelyn (host Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who seemed rather absent from the episode compared with his last time on the show, whereas musical guests Mumford & Sons appeared as a Beatles cover band in one sketch in addition to two strong performances) to a potential suitor via a musical number with compellingly strange lyrics. For instance, McKinnon sang that Evelyn was “hiding inside me” but “now she’s outside me”. Like last week’s Amish website sketch, it was one of those so-weird-it-just-might-work sketches that rewarded the viewer for staying through the end of the episode.
The show returns live on Oct. 6 with host Daniel Craig and musical guest Muse, while Mick Jagger's episode reruns next week, which was worth watching if only to see Mick fail at being Mick.