The two-time Oscar nominee, who couldn't attend the demonstration due to her commitment to the late-night sketch-comedy series, devoted her intro to those who were, performing Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me" alongside Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong. The anthemic monologue followed the second consecutive cold open without Alec Baldwin's Donald Trump, which failed to find a clever way to spoof the results of the president’s recent physical exam.
The evening's best political satire came during Weekend Update, thanks to the aforementioned McKinnon and Strong. It was also a good night for featured player Chris Redd, who struck gold with a truly bizarre Fresh Prince of Bel-Air parody.
Keep scrolling for the best and worst sketches…
BEST: WEEKEND UPDATE
"This week, I was finally able to google'Stormy Daniels' on my work computer," Colin Jost deadpanned. Before long, Cecily Strong arrived in character as Trump's ex-porn star mistress and claimed she was the hero America deserves at this very moment.
Best of all was Kate McKinnon's Robert Mueller, who updated Jost on the investigation by giddily declaring, "We good." The Special Counsel also teased that his findings would satisfy in ways that the Lost finale did not. (I'll let you guys debate that joke in the comments!)
BEST: FRESH PRINCE
Redd has shown glimpses of greatness before (take for instance his turn as Captain Shadow sidekick Cardinal), but the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air spoof was his breakout moment. This bleak reimagining of the Will Smith sitcom wasn't "haha" funny, but it was easily among the most ambitious and entertaining things the show has done all season.
BEST: GOOGLE TALK
Simple premise, perfect execution. The reveal of Mikey Day, whose Burt Sampson resembled a certain Simpsons character, garnered the biggest laugh of the night. The "Ay, Caramba!" meme was an added bonus.
HONORABLE MENTION: WHAT EVEN MATTERS ANYMORE
This one was clearly going for a funny-because-it's-true vibe, but the fact that such a sketch has reason to exist made me more sad than anything else. Discovering that there was no real game show within the world of the sketch, and it was just Chastain forcing Strong, McKinnon and Kenan Thompson to play along, was the most amusing part.
WORST: PRESS CONFERENCE COLD OPEN
As hit-or-miss as the Trump cold opens have been as of late, the ones without him have been even worse. Aidy Bryant's Sarah Huckabee Sanders continues to lack as a character, and Beck Bennett pretty much felt like he was mimicking the real press conference with White House doctor Ronny Jackson (save for that gag-worthy pineapple joke).
WORST: MOVIE SET WITH JESSICA CHASTAIN
If someone has an explanation for why this excruciating Kenan Thompson bit keeps coming back, I'd love to hear it. It’s always the same exact thing, with Thompson as the buffoonish director who instructs his actors to ham it up for the camera. This was a painful way to end the night.
What were your favorite sketches this week? And what missed the mark? Grade the episode via the following poll, then hit the comments to flesh out your thoughts.
Launch Gallery: <i>SNL</i>: Season 43 Episodes, Ranked