Looking to find the ridiculous in the bizarre, or something funny in the unbearable, "Saturday Night Live" settled for the obvious in the 44th season launch: beer, Kavanaugh, Matt Damon and "Squee."
And then there was Kanye West -- now YE -- combining ridiculous, bizarre, funny and unbearable all in one.
What a glorious night.
With "SNL" having no choice but to mock the sublimely mockable of the previous week, there was only one question going into the 44th season launch cold open. Who would play Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh? "SNL's" go-to play in the 43rd was to find the most famous actor available (Robert De Niro often seemed to get the call) to play some maligned or ridiculous figure in the Trump administration. Only an A-lister would do for Kavanaugh, and Damon did well last night:
Arriving in full dudgeon, hair very nearly right, he sniffled, screamed, squealed, squeaked, bellowed and belittled his way through a 13-minute open that featured every cast member as a senator, "female prosecutor" or Fox News anchor -- and in one instance, a former cast member (Rachel Dratch.) Each set up the lines for Damon/Kavanaugh. He bowled 'em over.
Thus, he began: "Let me tell ya, I'm going to start at an 11 and take it to a 15 real quick. I've showed this speech to almost no one, not my family, my friends, not even PJ, or Tobin or 'Squee' (Kavanaugh high school pals). This is my speech. There are others like it, but this is mine. I wrote it myself last night while screaming into an empty bag of Doritos.
"I'm here tonight because of a sham, a political con job orchestrated by the Clintons, George Soros, Kathy Griffin and Mister Ronan Sinatra."
"Now I am usually an optimist," said he. "I'm a keg-is-half-full kind of guy, but what I've seen from the monsters on this committee makes me want to puke -- and not from beer."
Later, in a peculiar example suggesting balance in the universe or even -- uncharacteristically -- on an edition of "SNL," Kanye closed out the show with some of his own ideas on universal balance in a way that only he could have. Wearing a "MAGA" cap with cast assembled on set, faces ranging from glazed to horrified, he began with "You see, they laughin' at me. You heard them? They screamed at me. They bullied me backstage. They said 'don't go out there with that hat on.' They bullied me backstage! They bullied me! And then they say I'm in a sunken place. You want to see the sunken place? OK. I'm going to listen y'all now. Well, I'm gonna put my Superman cape on."
He Kanye'd on: "I know some of y'all don't agree. ... I think the universe has balance. Ninety percent of news are liberal, ninety percent of TV -- L.A., New York writers, rappers, musicians. So it's easy to make it seem like it's so, so, so one-sided."
Someone in the audience yelled out, "I love you Kanye."
Kanye, umm, YE: "I love me too."
What a beautiful night, and now the outstanding question of the moment: Who will play Kanye on "SNL" next week?