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Emma Thompson hosts 'soft' Mother's Day edition of 'SNL'

It was a charmer with a couple of memorable skits along with an opening monologue that featured Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

Emma Thompson hosts 'soft' Mother's Day edition of 'SNL'

With Emma Thompson as host, this edition was a charmer with a couple of memorable skits along with an opening monologue that featured Tina Fey and Amy Poehler who interpreted what moms are really saying when they say something.

The year's softest edition of “Saturday Night Live” arrived Saturday, and by “soft” is meant the Mother's Day edition, whereby “SNL” sets aside animus, largely ignores its favorite president, and otherwise tries to get through 90 minutes of program time without offending anyone, mothers in particular.

But “soft” doesn't mean “bad,” and with Emma Thompson as host, this penultimate edition of the year was in fact a good one: A charmer with a couple of memorable skits along with an opening monologue that featured Tina Fey and Amy Poehler who interpreted what moms are really saying when they say something.

Meanwhile, Pete Davidson's famous mom from Staten Island — Amy Davidson — turned up during “Weekend Update” to impress on viewers that she really is as mom-ish as Davidson has always said she is.

Conversely, the cold open wheezed its way through another tepid sendup of “Meet the Press” — Kyle Mooney as Chuck Todd, Kate McKinnon as Lindsey Graham, Cecily Strong as Susan Collins and Beck Bennett as Mitch McConnell debating what hypothetical travesty would have to occur before they dropped their support of President Trump. (The kicker you could see coming from a mile away — no hypothetical travesty would be enough for that.)

Whether a soft edition or not, the cold open has pretty much been a work in progress all season, as “SNL” struggles to lampoon that which has already lampooned itself. Saturday's was just the latest example.

Mother's Day always brings out a sentimental streak in “SNL,” and Thompson — a bit mum-ish herself — turned out to be the perfect host to bring that out. Along with her many talents, she's a fine comic actress (she'll appear as “Agent O” in the new edition of “Men in Black”) who knows how to turn average material into the above-average and above average into memorable. A digital short with her and Heidi Gardner about the “perfect mother”' flirted with mawkishness then avoided it because Thompson's perfect mother was over-the-top perfect. She re-interpreted her Mrs. Potts from “The Beauty and the Beast” for “SNL” as she had to deal with other re-animated “enchanted” household objects. She was in a good sendup of “Chopped,” taught Leslie Jones etiquette lessons for the Royals, and starred in another skit alongside Kate McKinnon as an actress who vied with McKinnon's character to get in the last word.

And the last word on last night: Thompson was fine, the edition was good, although “SNL” — or at least the cold open — looks and feels like something badly in need of a long summer break. That break will have to wait a week: Paul Rudd will close out the 44th season next Saturday.

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