Oscar Isaac SNL Sketches Ranked: 'Fox News Ukrainian Invasion Spectacular,' 'Inventing Anna' Parody

Kate McKinnon takes on Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill for "Weekend Update," while Aidy Bryant takes on Oscar Isaac for herself!

After a bizarrely short installment last week on “Saturday Night Live,” “Weekend Update” was back to its usual format, allowing Kate McKinnon to address Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill directly — after a hilariously unexpected misunderstanding of its meaning.

Oscar Isaac treated fans to an actual film he created and filmed when he was only ten years old during his monologue with an uplifting message for all the “weirdos” out there. Elsewhere, the show went in hard on Fox News’ coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine — and “Paw Patrol”?

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Honestly, their arguments in relation to both were pretty rock solid, we’re not gonna lie.

Aidy Bryant took advantage of the hunky host to pen her own sketch, making up her recurring character “The Sexual Woman” that he could interact with. The framing and delivery of this from both of them was just perfect.

Overall, it was an uneven night for the show, with some sketches coming off not quite fully formed, including a cut-for-time commercial with a great premise that could have had a far sharper execution.

James Austin Johnson stunned us this week, but not because he delivered another stellar impression of Donald Trump for the Cold Open. Instead, it happened much later in the night when he appeared in a role without prosthetics and playing someone more like himself — is this really the first time we’ve just seen him as him? It’s the first time he’s stood out for that to us.

Sarah Sherman and Chloe Fineman also got showcase sketches to spotlight twists on their personalities, with Sarah’s deeply strange and unsettling while Chloe took on Netflix’s “Inventing Anna” with her own made-up accent and outlandish demands.

As usual, we’re ranking all the sketches from worst to first, including the Monologue, Cold Open, “Weekend Update” and any sketches that were cut for time but made their way online. We’ll skip the musical guests, because they’re not usually funny — unless Ashlee Simpson shows up. We wrap up with a look at the cast-member who had the strongest week.

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Monologue: Oscar Isaac

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After kicking off his monologue talking a bit about his journey into Hollywood, where he claims his “white” names were chosen from his full name, and he talks about being described as “ethnically ambiguous,” opening up many casting opportunities. But then, he really treated fans to clips from his big film debut, a home film made at his buddy’s house when he was ten years old. It was terrible in that incredibly sweet way, just as his monologue encouraging kids to be “weirdos” was sweet and kind of beautiful in a way. Never allow the world to dull your shine, because that’s what makes you great and it’s that shine that can take you magical and unexpected places — like the “SNL” stage.

Workplace Harassment Seminar

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There were too many twists and turns on this one, which never quite gelled into a cohesive sketch. The best material related to Kenan Thompson’s pervy Kevin character, while Cecily Strong was — ahem — strong as one half of an HR duo giving an annual seminar. But the logic of the piece collapsed several times, as they were at one point familiar to the employees but then told they didn’t work there. Plus, Oscar Isaac was painfully reading cue cards on this one, which really impacted his overall performance. The cast was solid, but we’d have actually preferred if they’d skipped both of the twist endings and just played it straight for how awful it was.

Meatballs

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Chalk this one up as a strong candidate for one of the weirdest “SNL” sketches of all time. Sarah Sherman wasn’t quite convincing as a dramatic actress, but she was funny enough to hold the sketch together as someone offended that Chris Redd would be bothered by all the singing meatballs attached to her body. The rest of the cast was cracking us up with their characterizations, particularly Kenan Thompson’s Jim. The whole thing was so incredibly stupid overall, but the little meatball song and accompanying animation was pretty damned catchy. A fun cameo by Charli XCX really brought it to another level, too.

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Cut for Time: Aerotoilet

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An inflatable toilet. That’s about all there is to this one. There are some funny visuals of Melissa Villaseñor, Kyle Mooney, Bowen Yang and Oscar Isaac just openly using the toilet in various rooms (and the yard) of a house during a party, but it’s very much a one-note sketch and premise. We did get a giggle out of Oscar’s advice to spokesperson (and his wife) Kate McKinnon to be sure and not suck if you opt to blow it up manually. The inflatable toilet paper and magazine were a nice touch, too, but overall it wasn’t as good as other fake ads the show has done over the years.

Fiction Workshop

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The 10-to-1 sketch is always a bit of an oddball, and this was no exception. Oscar Isaac plays a janitor who wrote a rather bawdy piece about his obsession with Dua Lipa and meeting her. Honestly, it felt like a missed opportunity to have it be about Charli XCX, but maybe she wasn’t comfortable with it. The reactions from Aidy Bryant and the other members of the group were a little stereotypical, with the guys into it and the ladies not. It would have been nice to subvert traditional expectations a bit there. It also would have been nice for Oscar’s story to go someplace more unexpected than it did. The whole sketch came off a little half-baked. We did get a kick out of finally seeing James Austin Johnson as something more akin to himself in a sketch after spending so much of the season under heavy prosthetics as Trump, Biden, etc.

Paw Patrol Political Ad

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This one was for all those tired parents who’ve been thinking way too long and way too hard about the logistics of “Paw Patrol.” The framing of this takedown of a city the size of San Diego being serviced by six dogs and a ten-year-old boy we know nothing about as a political takedown ad by the mayor’s opponent was brilliant, and Oscar Isaac nailed the awkward delivery of many local politicians. The grisly details of some of the crimes and dramatic situations offset by the responses from the dogs was played so seriously, it made it even funnier. This wasn’t laugh-out-loud, but it was extremely clever, with a fun twist at the end.

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Cold Open: Fox News Ukrainian Invasion Celebration Spectacular

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James Austin Johnson continues to kill it with his Donald Trump impression, this time answering calls and serenading Vladimir Putin as Kate McKinnon’s Laura Ingraham and Alex Moffat’s Tucker Carlson helm a variety show of sorts in celebration of the invasion of Ukraine. There was no subtlety in a lot of their jokes, which appeared tinged with anger, as they simply repeated a lot of what their real-life counterparts have actually said on the air about Russia. Bowen Yang was hilarious in a walk-on cameo as Steven Segal, who proudly proclaims both Native American and Japanese heritage — like the traditional Japanese shamrock shake! We also got Cecily Strong’s Kimberly Guilfoyle bellowing “Shallow” with Mikey Day’s Don Jr. — but that only made us more disappointed that Moffat was Carlson instead of his brilliantly funny Eric Trump. Still, there were enough laughs to make this one worth it.

Weekend Update

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Colin Jost and Michael Che went in hard on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with attacks on Putin’s height, Lindsey Graham suggesting he be assassinated and even the pointless dumping of Russian vodka (“No word yet on brides”). Look, a lot of the “seen here” photo jokes aren just so-so, but Jost’s “seen here being told someone’s pronouns” for a picture of Gov. Ron DeSantis is probably the best one we’ve seen in years!

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Kate McKinnon dropped by to comment on Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which she thinks is amazing!? She hilariously interpreted it to mean “gay” can’t be used as a slur or insult in schools anymore, which set her up beautifully for the fall when Jost had to explain the real meaning. She did a pretty quick reverse course on it, with an impassioned reaction to a law that’s pointless at best, and recklessly dangerous at worst — while dropping in a few “gays” along the way.

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The boys then went in on the other news of the day, including great takes on the “Wheel of Fortune” easy answer snafu, the New York Times mixing up their Williams sisters, and Jost getting to show off that high school picture as the single greatest argument against anyone who says “Euphoria” is remotely accurate to the teen experience. Che got a great reaction with his joke about adults being afraid of “the dark,” and his National Pig Day joke — just watch who to whom you say it.

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Ego Nwodim didn’t have the best material as a frustrated pregnant woman reacting to Rihanna’s high fashion pregnancy looks. She was committed to it, but it just wasn’t great. The “pushy” and heels lines fell completely flat. The idea was solid enough, but it needed more time in the writers’ room. Honestly, it didn’t come to life until she and Che really started getting into how this happened to her in the first place.

Inventing Chloe

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Chloe Fineman was the perfect choice to delve into “Inventing Anna” as a twist on Anna Sorokin’s made-up Anna Delvey persona. Chloe’s status is a mid-tier up-and-comer on “SNL” fit in perfectly with the ambition and drive of the real character, pretending to be so much more than she was. The fake accent and her over-the-top demands were perfect, and it was perfect that she took it out on the cast-members who have personas lacking in confidence or new to the show, like Kyle Mooney James Austin Johnson and Andrew Dismukes. There was also a fun cameo from Michael Che, whose persona is more of the who-gives-a-f— variety. The ending was telegraphed a little too obviously, but it was a perfect showcase for Chloe as she continues to establish her talent and presence on the show.

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Aidy's Dream

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It’s always fun when Aidy Bryant lets out her flirty and sensual side. This time around, she did it in the guise of finally being able to get a sketch on the air that she wrote herself, which was basically Oscar Isaac throwing himself at her. The self-awareness of the sketch is what made it work, with Oscar really going all in with his performance — until he saw his real name on the cue card — and Aidy being both a little caught off guard that this was actually working and as awkwardly confident in her sexuality was an adorable combo.

In Over Your Head

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Three great guests for this fake home improvement show really elevated the night’s strongest sketch. There was a tender moment between Kyle Mooney and Kenan Thompson that we’re not sure was entirely scripted, but the awkward tension hanging in the air was just perfection. Oscar Isaac was great as an idiot who electrocuted himself, giving a full performance — which was not always the case throughout the night — that really brought home the laughs. And then Ego Nwodim brought it home perfectly as Kenan’s wife. Sometimes you can play it straightforward and let the performances drive home the humor.

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PLAYER OF THE WEEK

On a pretty uneven episode overall, no one really had a huge breakout night that demanded our attention. Kenan Thompson was consistent as always, anchoring several sketches with his charm and persona, while Aidy Bryant got to showcase her charms in several sweet — and sultry — roles.

Sarah Sherman got a very bizarre showcase that suited her comic personality, while Chloe Fineman had the chance to step up as a diva immediately in way over her head. But it was Kate McKinnon who really held the show together.

She punctuated Chloe’s spotlight sketch, held just the right tone in her characterization as an inflatable toilet pitchwoman and brought her classic Laura Ingraham to the open and herself with a humor-filled statement against Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law.

Even when the show isn’t consistent, you can always count on Kate to bring consistency to her performances and a sense of comfort, ease and laughter. She’s just a naturally gifted performer who can get a laugh with a facial expression or the utterance of one sound. And when the material isn’t as strong, she can still manage to find the laughs.

“Saturday Night Live” returns next week with host Zoë Kravitz and musical guest Rosalía.


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