Lizzo slides right into the ensemble seamlessly in an outing so strong they had to cut one of the night's best sketches for time -- and another, but we're not so sad about that one.

Lizzo brought a lot of fun energy to double duty on “Saturday Night Live” this week in an episode that featured almost everyone.

There were a lot of large ensemble pieces tonight, giving spotlight moments of humor and personality to virtually the entire cast multiple times throughout the night. Even better, most of those large pieces worked.

While we’ve seen Lizzo’s acting ability featured here and there, it hasn’t been a big focus for her. And yet, she has a natural affability that makes her very engaging and fun to watch. While she was definitely reading cue cards, she didn’t give stilted deliveries and even injected a lot of personality into some of the characters she brought to life.

After blowing us away last week with a very fun Chucky, Sarah Sherman once again got a chance to shine with her uniquely quirky style and it was great. Melissa Villaseñor, who’s been here for six seasons now, got a rare showcase of her own and she slayed it, even as it left us questioning if they’re permanently shrinking “Weekend Update”?

This was the second week in a row we had only one “Update” guest and a single segment of news from the boys. Considering how many strong sketches we had tonight and last week, we can maybe chalk it up to a plethora of quality options -- at least we hope so.

Also like last week, tonight’s bounty was so plentiful that two sketches didn’t even make it to the final air. While we’re not devastated by one of them, the other one had us dying and cringing at the same time. Let’s just say we felt seen.

As usual, we're ranking all the sketches from worst to first, including the Monologue, Cold Open, "Weekend Update" and any sketches that were cut for time but made their way online. We'll skip the musical guests, because they're not usually funny -- unless Ashlee Simpson shows up. We wrap up with a look at the cast-member who had the strongest week.

Cut for Time: Glitter Revolution

Sarah Sherman did a great job of introducing Glitter Revolution, and her asides were beautifully stupid, but the actual focus of the sketch wasn’t nearly as funny as we were hoping. We appreciate everyone’s commitment to the roles, but this was mostly a retread of the last time we saw this group, even with the addition of Lizzo. In fact, Lizzo didn't really bring anything new to the piece, which is a shame because she could have created a great breakout moment here.

Monologue: Lizzo

Lizzo was earnest in her delivery here, with a natural charm that was engaging. We appreciated that she carried her love for Chris Evans into this monologue, while complaining about all those online rumors about her (including, apparently, ones she may have started herself). “It’s called manifesting,” she explained. She came across very sweet, and even inspirational talking about her own journey to success a bit. We love that she’s empowering to others to just love themselves.

Cold Open: Easter Wishes

Honestly, this cold open was a bit of a mess; just an excuse to trot out some famous faces (via impression) to talk about random nonsense. There was no sense of cohesiveness, nor any Easter connection … until James Austin Johnson’s Trump crashed the festivities to complain he didn’t get his chance. His rambling nonsense at least started with an Easter connection, and he got us smiling and laughing again. We also got a great laugh out of Bowen Yang’s Easter Bunny having no idea what the hell he was talking about. Same, E.B., same!

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Not nearly as funny as it could have been, we did appreciate Chris Redd’s characterization as Lizzo’s manager. She got to bring her real flautist skills to the stage. There were some great reactions from Kenan Thompson and from Alex Moffat when she began twerking on him while playing, but the payoff wasn’t as strong as we would have liked. It was all just too obvious. That said, Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon did some nice character work of their own, helping their small parts stand out, while Mikey Day continues his fantastic work as the sane one in a sea of insanity -- a role he seemingly was born to play.

Six Flags Grandpa

It took its own premise a little further than necessary, but we couldn’t get enough of Sarah Sherman’s characterization of the dancing Six Flags guy. Just walking across the living room set was enough to crack us up. Ego Nwodim as his wife was a fun addition, but then it just kept getting to be more and more. Lizzo was reading cue cards a bit much through this one but we’re glad she made sure to get those disparaging digs in at Mikey Day as her date so well -- as always, his reactions were priceless.

Please Don’t Destroy: Writer’s Block

A return to form for the PDD guys, with a great assist by a menacing Andrew Dismukes. Even the quirk of Lizzo thinking she has to write two new songs for the show was a nice added bonus. The guys trying to help her write that song added some extra layers of crazy. Once again, additional layers of humor like her aggressive crush on Martin Herlihy and Andrew’s interruptions enhanced the overall humor of the piece -- and then we get to the sketch idea she turned into a song complete with accompanying music video that was both a banger and creepy as hell.

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TikTok (f. Lizzo)

As always, the TikTok scroll is the only place where random nonsense totally works. Once again, we got some great little vignettes and quick jokes as almost the entire cast gets involved, including ridiculous things like a man walking on all fours, a terrible haircut, scaring grandma, Lizzo sharing her favorite curse words in an interview and even Chris Redd as T.I. trying to do standup. Bonus points for starting to combine a few of them with response videos, and then tying it together with a great surprise connection at the very end.

Throne Room

Another sprawling cast showcase, but this one worked because there was a cohesive thread connecting all of their roles in this heathenish “cursed orgy” piece. Cecily Strong and Bowen Yang were cracking each other up as the show coordinators checking in with the various depraved performers. Everyone was great in their different takes on their actors, though we particularly loved Mikey Day’s choice for the fire breather at the door. Kate McKinnon gets bonus points because we thought the sketch was going to fade out before she demonstrated making out with the live goat she brought, but she went there. The actual conclusion of the sketch was a great twist, considering what we’d just seen.

Cut for Time: Food & YouTube (f. Lizzo)

We have never felt so called out as this video all about watching YouTube while eating alone. Bowen Yang was hilarious in the one moment during the song where he tired eating alone. He did so much with so little. Chris Redd’s character found himself going down the rabbit hole toward the Deep State just in time to introduce Lizzo as the algorithm that feeds us what we want -- or is that what they want us to think she’s doing? Very smart and clever, it’s a shame this didn’t make the final cut.

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Weekend Update

Colin Jost and Michael Che were skirting the border of good taste more than usual, which made for some great biting humor and some audible reactions from the audiences. From Che saying Musk wants to buy Twitter to expand free speech because white guys really want to say the n-word to Jost going in on Peloton again over heart attacks and even Krispy Kreme and American waistlines, it was a strong segment. It was also both the political segment and other news in one again, as like last week they only welcomed one guest. Is shorter “Update” going to be the new normal?

A rare showcase for Melissa Villaseñor, she nailed this take on a driver with standup aspirations. But even better was the emotional journey her Cesar Perez took himself on, cracking jokes at the expense of his young nephew Carlito, only to immediately feel remorse and need to apologize to him directly. The whole sketch was short enough that it didn’t drag, and her performance was perfect commitment with some great emotional turns.

Steve’s Beanie Babies

The writers paired Lizzo and Andrew Dismukes up a lot throughout the night, but it’s easy to see why. They have a great chemistry together, and clearly were charmed by one another’s talents. In this sketch, Lizzo could not keep a straight face as Andrew took the lead as a Beanie Baby collector devastated when he learns the truth about his life’s work. The melodrama between the two of them, with her as his wife, was ridiculously beautiful. The only odd thing was that they basically ignored their guests after about halfway through. But the postscript was spot-on. “SNL” is getting better at ending sketches than in many recent seasons. This 10-to-1 piece wound up one of the night’s strongest.

Black Eyed Peas

A totally fair criticism of what happened when the Black Eyed Peas just started pumping out mindless dance trash with no lyrics whatsoever. We were laughing as much as Lizzo was breaking character while Chris, Bowen, Kenan and Cecily were riffing their way through lyrically complex songs like “Boom Boom Pow” and “I Gotta Feeling.” Extra shout-out for a chat about the song “Let’s Get It Started” (in its original form), and how they needed something timeless to say there. This would have probably been funnier more than ten years ago when BEP was releasing this kind of stuff, but it still holds up.

Guess That!

Another game show format with Kenan Thompson as the host, but the format actually didn’t matter this time. Instead, we got to witness a game show contestant insurrection after Lizzo got one of the answers wrong and that didn’t sit well with her at all. Her nonsense got even more nonsensical, and then she got Chris Redd and Ego Nwodim in on the revolve. Kenan was great trying to make sense of their ridiculous statements, and constant buzzing in just to talk. It went off the rails in the most beautifully funny way, driven entirely by good writing and great performances.


The chemistry between Andrew Dismukes and Lizzo was adorable every time they shared the screen together, while Aidy Bryant and Lizzo also seemed to enjoy working with one another a ton.

There were some brilliantly great moments tonight from Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Sarah Sherman and Kenan Thompson. But when you have a night as strong as this, moments aren’t going to cut it. At the same time, there was so much of a good thing, we couldn’t pick just one performer.

Talking about great chemistry with Lizzo, it also became clear that her comic sensibilities aligned beautifully with Bowen Yang, who was all over the place tonight and killing it with every performance. But he wasn't the only one, as Chris Redd had us in stitches from top top bottom, too.

From his mayor of New York to his cut-for-time YouTube rapper to even taking the stage as T.I., Chris was on fire as only he can do. Bowen, meanwhile, continues to blossom on this show, killing us over and over again with one unexpected performance (TikTok belter) to another (Taboo from Black Eyed Peas). He also proved himself a capable straight man as the Easter Bunny and a great supporting player all over the place tonight.

Lizzo was a very generous host with her time, or maybe she wanted the comfort of the ensemble around her. Either way, while there were a lot of sketches featuring a lot of performers tonight, most of them didn’t feel crowded. And we applaud the balance of opportunity that was afforded everyone on the cast who was there (still no Pete Davidson)

“Saturday Night Live” returns May 7 with host Benedict Cumberbatch and musical guest Arcade Fire.

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