Hilarious stand-up comedian, Parks and Recreation star and Master of None creator Aziz Ansari hosted Saturday Night Live last night for his first time ever and folks, did he knock it out of the park! His opening monologue was eight minutes of stand up that was insightful, personal, generous and funny and sincere, and then he rolled right into playing a big, broad character called "The Bookworm" with the ease and comfort of an SNL regular.
Aziz also shone as a suspect being roughly interrogated by police for not liking the movie La La Land (currently rated at a perfect five stars in our own media database.)
And in a gorgeously shot pre-taped segment that was cohesive and thoughtful enough to be called a short film, Ansari played an Uber rider trying to get a five-star rating from his driver (Bobby Moynihan) who is also trying hard to bring his rating up.
Alec Baldwin's Trump was missing this week, which cost the satirical cold open a lot of energy. We were left with Beck Bennet's middling Putin impression, which couldn't bring real momentum to the show even with a game assist from Kate McKinnon as a Russian lady signaling solidarity to the Women's March.
Still, the series didn't miss an opportunity to take a hit at the new Trump administration with a Chicago homage front-and-centering Kellyanne Conway.
Ansari killed again as the robotic frontman for an animatronic band at a Chucky-Cheese style restaurant that springs to life in the middle of a police showdown in a sketch that was as original as it was surreally hilarious.
And Aziz also helped newcomer Melissa Villaseñor get some of her biggest laughs on the show so far as a woman who really did not understand the concept of dirty talk.
SNL returns live on February 4th, and will be hosted by Kristen Stewart with musical guest Alessia Cara.