This week, Melissa McCarthy hosted SNL for the fourth time and she did a fantastic job. But you didn’t need me to tell you that. With all three of her past performances garnering Emmy nominations, McCarthy has become one of the most entertaining, dependable hosts in the past decade. We’re at the point where it’s almost boring to watch because you know exactly what you’re getting. With a host this good, how’s a lowly SNL reviewer supposed to add any excitement to an episode seemingly destined for greatness? Sorry, what was that? Kanye was the musical guest? Oh nice, he played a couple songs from his unreleased album, The Life of Pablo? Wait, he dropped his album on SNL?? And one of my fellow Rock writers already wrote a review of the album??? Dear Lord! Did Kanye make SNL cool again?? Ahh, don’t answer that, let’s just check out Highlights (self daps).
The Day Beyonce Turned Black
Remember a couple years ago when SNL couldn’t come close to any form of racial comedy because they had no diversity in the cast? Those days are long gone as SNL whips up another fantastic piece of satire about race relations in the US. Following the release of Beyonce’s music video highlighting different aspects of African American culture, people across the country were rattled that Beyonce might not actually be as white as the girls who listen to her music. It was an impressive 3 minute video that put the video’s controversy to rest, politely suggesting that, “Hey, maybe not everything everyone does has to be for white people.”
First off, does Pete Davidson have a Deathly Hallows tattoo on his wrist? That’s kinda cool. Harry Potter 9 coming out this summer. Get pumped. Anyways, this sketch is great because it’s such a universally uncomfortable situation. Whether it be a brief 10 second snippet, or your standard 5 minute long railfest this family was watching (might wanna double check the DVD there pops), everyone’s been there. It’s an issue that’s been around since the dawn of movies and there’s really no good way to deal with it. To see the problem exaggerated to this scale was hilarious to watch.
Part of what makes McCarthy such a fantastic SNL host is that she can effortlessly blend with the rest of the cast, while also making her presence known if need be. This sketch definitely reflected the latter, with a hilarious piece of physical comedy. As you go through life, you find that there are few things that remain as funny to you now as they did when you were 5 (eg: not Dane Cook). However, I think it’s safe to say that fake throw up has withstood the test of time.
Kyle vs. Kanye
After nearly locking down the 10-1 spot last season, Mooney and his weird style comedy have been pushed aside in terms of air time. However, Kyle’s made his contributions through a series of awkwardly conducted street interviews posted on the SNL Facebook page. This sketch allowed him to combine his unique set of talents with an actual storyline in order to produce a cringeworthy rap battle against one of the best rappers of all time. And for those of us too stubborn/poor to buy Tidal, Kanye’s rap is the closest we’ll get to TLOP for the next couple of weeks.
Update keeps chugging along, once again attacking the Saturday Night GOP debate in real time. Seeing as they write most of their jokes earlier in the week, it’s a pretty impressive feat that they can not only come up with content that fast, but also fit it into a script that’s nailed down to the second. Jost and Che took turns taking jabs at the whole political gang, with their best joke being the rolling list of things Hillary needs to be honest about. For the guests, Vanessa Bayer’s Jennifer Aniston stole the show. In light of the upcoming Friends reunion, Bayer took on Rachel, nailing down her voice inflections and surprised mannerisms to a T. The random New York cutscenes were especially effective, with Bayer explaining, “Oh, that happens to me every few minutes, yeah, yeah, it’s weird.”
A Few More Thoughts
Here’s Kanye’s performance of Ultra Light Beams that rocked Studio 8H. Aided by Chance the Rapper and an entire gospel choir, Kanye delivered a work of passion and energy that moved the entire audience. The climax came at the end however, when Kanye got up frantically announcing his new album was out on Tidal, followed by a barrage of nonsense words.
SNL takes the week off next weekend but comes back strong with Jonah Hill with musical guest Future. See you March 5th.