It’s become something of a recent tradition at “Saturday Night Live” for the annual pre-Mother’s Day broadcast to feature a tribute of sorts from current cast members to their real-life moms. That custom was upheld in this weekend’s episode, hosted by Emma Thompson and featuring the Jonas Brothers as musical guests. But for her opening monologue, Thompson (who said her daughter, Gaia Wise, was in the audience) was joined by two other moms with long histories at “S.N.L.” — former cast members Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who offered “a little language lesson” to help children decode what their mothers might be saying to them.
For example, Thompson said, “When you ask your mother what she wants to do for Mother’s Day and she says — ”
Fey: “Just to relax in the backyard, maybe a massage.”
Thompson: What she’s actually asking is —
Poehler: “How does one buy weed?”
Or, Thompson said, “When your mother sees what you’re wearing and says — ”
Poehler: “Oh, I like that shirt.”
Thompson: What she’s trying to say is —
Fey: “Oh, I think I bought you that shirt.”
In other examples, “You look tired” means “You look bad”; “Can we just not talk about politics?” means “Please don’t ruin Joe Biden for me — he’s what I picture”; and “Son, you know I love you just the way you are” means “I am bored of waiting for you to tell me you’re gay — just do it so I can buy rainbow stuff.”
Fey and Poehler offered examples of regional mom-isms from Philadelphia and Boston, and Thompson said that, to a British mother, “splendid” translates as, “I’m sad. I’m happy. How are you? You embarrass me. I’m crazy. You’re drunk.”
Thompson added, “‘Splendid’ is sort of our ‘aloha.’”
Cold Open of the Week
The bipartisan, politics-free tone that buoyed last week’s Adam Sandler-hosted episode of “S.N.L.” lasted exactly zero seconds into this week, which began with a “Meet the Press” parody featuring Senators Mitch McConnell (Beck Bennett), Susan Collins (Cecily Strong) and Lindsey Graham (Kate McKinnon) fielding questions from the moderator, Chuck Todd (Kyle Mooney), asking what it would take at this point for President Trump to lose their support.
Posing a hypothetical example, Mooney said, “Robert Mueller testifies before Congress and says he believes Trump committed obstruction of justice.”
McKinnon answered, “The best way to uphold the law is to be above it.”
Another hypothetical from Mooney: “He said Trump colluded with the Russians.”
Strong replied, “I’d have to write a strong worded email and send it straight to my drafts folder.”
And what if the president were to adopt an even more rigid stance against abortion?
Strong answered, “That’d be the most outrageous, ridiculous thing that I’d ever end up definitely voting for.”
Classic Cinema of the Week
A scene from a fictional 1953 movie was really just an excuse for Thompson and McKinnon to chew up the scenery in the guises of two Golden Age movie stars who each had it written into their contracts that they had to receive the last word in all of their scenes. The absurd scenario led to comically awkward exchanges like this one:
Thompson: “I’d better call my lawyer.”
McKinnon: “And your lawyer better call his lawyer.”
Thompson: “Too many lawyers, that makes lawyer soup.”
McKinnon: “Lawyer, lawyer, pants on foyer.”
A special shout-out to the enduring “Saturday Night Live” M.V.P. Kenan Thompson, who made the most of his role as an oblivious PBS host named Reese De’What.
‘Weekend Update’ Jokes of the Week
At the “Weekend Update” desk, anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che riffed on a recent investigation in The New York Times that showed the staggering financial losses of President Trump’s businesses in the 1980s and ’90s.
Speaking from the “Weekend Update” desk, Pete Davidson expressed gratitude to his mother, saying, “This year, she’s not just my mom. She’s also my roommate.” Davidson explained that he and his mother live together, adding, “I know what people think: They see you on TV and magazines and stuff and they think, ‘Wow. That guy must have his own place.’ Nope. But, it’s not like I moved into her house. I just bought a house with my mom. Like a winner.”
Davidson said his 21-year-old sister, Casey, also lives with them, making for awkward situations. “I’ll see a strange dude in the house,” he said, “and I don’t know if he’s some dirt bag preying on my sister or the saint who’s going to take my mom off my hands.”
Davidson then brought out his mother, Amy (who wore a pink sweatshirt with caricatures of herself and Pete). When Jost asked if they had plans for Mother’s Day, Davidson replied, “What do you mean? I put her on TV. This is it. You don’t know. Jon Hamm could be single and watching.”
Amy Davidson said, “I’d also settle for James Spader.”
Pete Davidson responded, “You’d settle for a Ninja Turtle. I just need a dad.”
(Sorry, Ninja Turtles: After the show, it turned out, Amy Davidson got her first choice.)
‘Game of Thrones’-Inspired Sketch of the Week
Like just about everyone with a Twitter account, “Saturday Night Live” sought to spin comedy from a recent “Game of Thrones” episode in which a modern-day coffee cup made an accidental appearance on the HBO fantasy series.
The result on “S.N.L.” was a fictional Turner Classic Movies program called “Wait a Second, That Shouldn’t Be There!”, in which the host (Kyle Mooney) led us through other would-be anachronisms in TV shows and movies: a scene from the 2016 remake of “Roots” performed by Kenan Thompson (standing near a case of White Castle hamburgers) and Ego Nwodim (drinking a 7-Eleven Big Gulp); or a clip from “Shakespeare in Love” in which McKinnon disrobes to reveal a Tasmanian Devil “Thug Life” tattoo on her back.