Friday, April 19, 2024
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Ramy Youssef Brings A Calm Yet Amusing Presence To A Solid Saturday Night Live

Couple Goals – Coming in close behind Please Don’t Destroy, we have one of my favorite spins on the game show formula. We get a couple answering questions to see how much they know each other, and even though we know how this kind of scenario is going to play out, it’s the material that makes it work. In this case, Ramy Youssef’s greatest fear is that he’ll be accused of killing his wife (Ego Nwodim), and that fear just escalates from there, with hilariously complex and winding cue card answers that have far too intricately thought out paths for the future. Youssef plays this one perfectly, and his chill demeanor works just right for this kind of bit. There’s also an added layer of comedy to this bit thanks shorter but equally absurd interplay between Heidi Gardner and Mikey Day, not to mention James Austin Johnson’s reliable hosting techniques, which remind one of Bill Hader’s similar skillset.
Team Captain – Kenan Thompson and Ramy Youssef delivered a fantastic two-hander in this locker room sketch where Youssef tries to hype up his teammates while their coach struggles to inspire them due to mistakenly sending the team thread some unsettling pictures intended for his wife. Not only did Thompson play this in that hilarious way that only he can, but there was a superb bit of escalation as the rest of the team further detailed how much worse the text threat got after the initial mistake.
As for the rest of the night, fitting the bill of the 10-to-1 sketch, Murder Detective gave us a spoof of “CSI: Miami” and its pre-opening theme puns from David Caruso that have been mocked on numerous occasions. Andrew Dismukes made it delightfully awkward, but I wish there was a little bit of variation and escalation to spice it up a bit. Immigrant Talk Show was a solid variation of a familiar formula, with Marcello Hernandez and Ramy Youssef playing the disappointed immigrant fathers of sons that they can’t stop chastising. The only issue was Youssef never really felt like he fell into a groove with the character to feel authentic.
Youssef brought even more of his ethnic background’s flair to the show with the Ozempic for Ramadan commercial, though it felt a little too short on the laughs. Another sketch put Ramy Youssef in a fake band playing NPR’s famous Tiny Desk Concert segment had the makings of a funny sketch, but it never quite took off. And of course, the cold open featuring Donald Trump shilling for his new $60 Bible was just another bit of tired political satire that always has trouble lampooning what is already ludicrous in real life.

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