In what should have been a belly laugh machine, the Aladdin sketch never lifted off, even as Driver and Cecily Strong sang their hearts out on the flying carpet, and even as Strong’s Jasmine took a pelican, falling bomb, and emptied airplane toilet to the face.

Strong got some laughs trying to maintain the mood, and Beck Bennett and Leslie Strong added a few nicely underplayed touches as airbase flight controllers caught up in the mood as well, but t was a lot of air around the jokes, a problem for most of the live sketches tonight.

The same goes for the classroom bullying sketch, which had a nicely off-kilter premise but petered out without fully realizing its potential.

Most of the rest of the male cast-brought in for an orgy with Driver’s Dr. Rockhard-wrestled playfully around the stage to end the sketch.

Cecily Strong gets the top spot tonight, taking center stage in the Aladdin sketch and doing a funny turn alongside Kate McKinnon in the solidly funny “America’s Funniest Cats” sketch as one of a pair of blasé French TV hosts whose archly dismissive Gallic version of the show involves a lot of talk about death and very few funny “Boi-oi-oing!” sound effects.

As much as the show put him up front in the classroom bullying sketch, new guy Jon Rudnitsky continues to scramble for parts.

Adam Driver