Saturday Night Live this weekend featured Fifty Shades of Grey actress Dakota Johnson as the host and Alabama Shakes as the musical guest.

Giuliani Cold Open

SNL kicked off this weekend’s episode with The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, starring Vanessa Bayer as the titular host, interviewing Rudy Giuliani (Taran Killam). After he delivers the controversial remarks about President Barack Obama, Gretchen says, “You warned us that what you were about to say would be horrible. So it’s fine.” In voiceover, Giuliani says to himself, “You were America’s mayor. How’d you end up here? “ A parody on Birdman follows with Johnson playing the daughter of the has-been.

Dakota Johnson’s Monologue

Johnson’s monologue included some well-timed jokes about Fifty Shades, quipping that E.L. James’ books made children never want to touch their mothers’ Kindles again, that her dry-cleaner won’t look her in the eyes anymore and that her dog walker gives her a little wink every time he takes the leash off the wall. There was also a nod to her mother Melanie Griffith hosting the show back in 1988.

ISIS Recruitment

Outside an airport, a father (Killam) is bidding his 18-year-old daughter (Johnson) goodbye. Getting emotional that his little girl is leaving the nest, he tears up with emotion. “Dad it’s just ISIS,” she tells him. As she exits the car, jihadis are armed and standing on trucks ready to welcome her. “Death to America!” one of the terrorists reassures the father who asks them to look after his daughter.


In the Cinderella sketch Killam plays the Prince Charming to Johnson’s Cinderella. However, the star of the sketch is Cecily Strong‘s Kathy Ann, who’s working as a scullery maid. When Cinderella acts shy with the Prince, Kathy Ann reprimands her about her lack of confidence, saying, “No wonder why your stepmother walks all over you.”


The latest music video sketch, “Say What You Wanna Say,” featured Sara Bareilles‘ hit song “Brave.” One by one the women in the video say exactly what they want to say, whether it be declining invitations from people one doesn’t particularly like or want to spend time with, calling out the cheap friend, or admitting you don’t know someone’s name that you really should.

50 Shades Press Room

Johnson played herself in the “50 Shades Press Room” skit, which had her sit through an interview with a middle school student named Peter (Kyle Mooney). The questions get increasingly graphic, which leads Johnson to ask if he’s actually seen the movie. As it happens, he’s seen in a handful of times with his father and wants to know if she prefers Woody over Buzz Lightyear.

I Can’t Interns

The “I Can’t” sketch centered on a trio of interns complaining about the frigid office conditions, repeating “I can’t” and “literally” and speaking solely in hyperbolic phrases. Part of the reason it’s so cold is that Margot (Aidy Bryant) literally cannot close the window because both of her arms are broken. “I stage dived at karaoke and nobody caught me,” Margot explains, asking for one of the others to close the window. “We are not walking a hundred miles to your desk right now,” says Johnson’s irritable intern before Margot tries to close the window and falls out of it.

Weekend Update

Topics that hit the weekend update desk included the viral dress, upper-class young women joining ISIS and Donald Trump running for president. Guests included Ruth Bader Ginsberg (Kate McKinnon) making fun of Antonin Scalia’s eating habits, Kanye West (Jay Pharoah) making “the greatest apology of all time,” and Riblet once again taking over hosting duties from Michael Che.

Worf M.D.

Coming straight from a Star Trek convention, a doctor (Kenan Thompson) hasn’t had a chance to change out of his Worf costume before arriving at an emergency room. Responding only to Worf, he fails to save his patient and then has to tell the grandkids that their grandfather has died – his last sight being that of him in his Worf getup. A “Live Long and Prosper” title card completed the sketch, which doubled as a tribute to the late Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy.

Net Neutrality

The net neutrality panel included a blogger (Johnson), a YouTube commenter (Leslie Jones), a CEO (Moynihan), and an Instagrammer (Pete Davidson). Johnson’s blogger believes that net neutrality has to do with Emojis being a neutral shade with a straight line for an expressionless mouth. Bobby Moynihan’s CEO thinks it has to do with the speed at which someone can download porn. The founding father of the internet (Killam) ultimately came out to slap each of them in the face. After he slaps Johnson, she yells, “harder!”

Mr. Riot Films

The latest sketch from Mooney and Beck Bennett featured their socially conscious duo doing a video experiment to see how people react to bullying. Mooney dresses up like a woman and a dog while cameras roll. A construction worker says  no comment when he witnesses Mooney dressed in drag. Beckwith’s overgrown child gets a similar non-response. However, a woman seems to sympathize with Mooney dressed up like a dog.


Alabama Shakes

Alabama Shakes performed “Gimme All Your Love” and “Don’t Wanna Fight.”

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