Chance The Rapper Brings Confidence And Laughs In A Funny, Flub-Filled 'Saturday Night Live'

Last night brought the Halloween episode of Saturday Night Live, and thanks to host Chance the Rapper, the energy was high. Unfortunately (or fortunately in some cases), the number of technical mistakes, gaffes, and line flubs were also high with almost every single live sketch having some kind of error. Since the show is live, there are usually a couple missteps here and there, but this show was riddled with them. Thankfully, they didn't always make the sketch worse. In fact, in a couple cases, they helped make the sketch much better than it otherwise might have been. It was kind of weird how well it all worked.

Let's run through the best and worst sketches from the Chance the Rapper hosted Saturday Night Live.

The Best

Tasty Toaster Tarts – You've seen those commercials where kids are going through the snack cabinet to see what's good. It's always a bunch of generic stuff until the brand name snack comes along and the kids get excited. Well, what if that list of snacks just kept going? And what if it's because something bad happened to the kid's parents? And what if he's now buying every snack he can get his hands on? And why can't they get something to drink from the fridge? This commercial parody takes a great, dark turn, and I loved it. Also, kudos to whoever came up with the names of all those fake snacks.

Spooky Song – Ghosts always have some kind of grand story to tell about their death. But this graveyard song featuring several ghosts with horrific deaths gets a little weird when Chance the Rapper tries to opt out of telling his story. The payoff is golden, and his sheepish performance makes it all the better.

Love at First Sight – All right, I'll be the first to admit that this sketch felt a little stilted thanks to what seems to be some complicated wiring issues. But in this case, that stilted element helped add to the comedy, almost in a meta way. It's like we were watching the rehearsal for a sketch about two lovers whose whimsical "flying" helps them fall in love. The wire work was intentionally bad for laughs, but then there was a significant delay towards the end, which ended up being extremely funny as it went on, and the way Cecily Strong and Beck Bennett recover from it by making fun of it in character added a nice touch.

The Average

Space Mistakes – There have been plenty of movies where something goes wrong on a mission in space. And even though you don't think about it in this way, it usually comes up because an astronaut simply messed up at their job, which just so happens to be in space. While I think the title of this movie trailer parody doesn't pack as much comedic punch as it should, the editing is solid, and the dramatization of scenes that feel similar to movies like The Martian and Apollo 13 still work rather well. Maybe it just should have been with someone other than Chance the Rapper to add a little more weight to the faux drama.

Dance Rehearsal – As the sketch in the 10-to-1 spot, this one is undoubtedly weird. And it wouldn't work nearly as well without Kenan Thompson in the role as an instructor for an Earth, Wind and Fire dance crew who is slowly becoming a werewolf as the full moon creeps around. Here, again, is a sketch that was made a little funnier by some technical issues. The moon wasn't always where it needed to be, some of the blinds didn't cooperate, and every time Kenan had a transformation, you could see someone from the make-up department in the background of the set. But still, this one made me laugh a good amount.

Judge Barry – This sketch has a great premise, and even though it isn't executed very well due to Chance the Rapper being a little too fast with his lines, the bones of this sketch give it a strong enough foundation to work. Plus, it's such a rapid fire sketch that even if one line doesn't land particularly well, another one is coming right behind it. Plus, there's a surprise appearance by a certain DC Comics movie star for some reason. And in the tradition of this episode, that person messes up a line so badly that you can't help but laugh.

Choir Fashion – If it wasn't for Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon being these two characters, which feel like a variation on the same duo they've played several times before, then this sketch would probably have gone in the worst category. But these characters are legitimately funny, and the last bit with their contact information really saved it from the garbage bin for me.

The Worst

E-Sports Reporter – This is one of those times where SNL feels lazy. E-Sports is a thing now, which is professional video gaming for those who don't know, and Chance the Rapper plays a basketball reporter who doesn't understand this world at all. The premise is amusing enough, but it steers quickly into cliche video game nerd punchlines that you've heard countless times before from people who think it's cool to make fun of nerds for something just because they don't understand how it works. While Chance the Rapper's reactions to things do have some comedic value, it's the punchlines that are consistently lame that keep it from being good.

Trump Rally – It's gotten to the point that whenever I see Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump in the cold open that I just roll my eyes. This president is being impeached, and everyday there's some new scandal from it that, in any other presidency, should get him chucked out of office immediately, and SNL is still trying to make fun of that. It hasn't worked for a long time now, and it's still not working because this man is a walking circus, and you can't top his insanity comedically. Not even a callback to Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton or a guest appearance by Fred Armisen as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan can keep this from being another dud. But hey, at least Pete Davidson is back, I guess?

Weekend Update

Colin Jost and Michael Che felt pretty loose in this edition of Weekend Update, especially with Che keeping track of how the audience seemed to wince at a couple of his punchlines (which were great but also the kind that predictably would make an audience uncomfortable). Che clearly had the better jokes, and it's unfortunate that Jost got stuck with that bad Frozen gag at the end.

Eric and Donald Trump Jr. on Benefiting from the Trump Presidency – Man, I still love when Alex Moffat and Mikey Day play the two bumbling Trump brothers. This is pretty much the only part of the fresh hell of the current presidency that has been effectively and consistently lampooned by SNL. Eric Trump is the childish idiot young brother, and Donald Trump Jr. is the babysitting idiot older brother. The way Moffat pretends to shadow Trump Jr., and then

The Host

Chance the Rapper is one of the best crossover host/musical guests that Saturday Night Live has had in recent memory. He's got charisma, confidence, enthusiasm, and most of the time, he has great comedic timing. His monologue was a lot of fun this time too, taking the concept of the Second City label that Chicago has and turning it into a rap about why second is better. I wish that the visuals weren't as clumsy as Heidi Gardner and Melissa Villaseñor made them, but that's how it goes sometimes. Either way, the rap was funny, and Chance the Rapper is a fantastic host.


Chance the Rapper – I don't remember the last time that I thought the host was the MVP of the night, but Chance the Rapper really felt like he earned it this time. He threw himself into every sketch, and even though he broke character several times to the gaffes and messed up lines throughout the night, it never derailed the sketches. Chance the Rapper feels right at home with the SNL cast and crew, which is rare even among seasoned actors. He hosted the best SNL of the fall a couple years back, and while this one didn't quite measure up as a whole, he was still outstanding as a host

The Final Word

Every episode of Saturday Night Live is a miracle because of how quickly it comes together in a single week. And this week's feels even more miraculous due to the fact that the show didn't end up being marred by the number of mistakes that happened throughout the episode. The sketches themselves weren't always top notch, but Chance the Rapper and the cast as well as some accidental charm made them go much better.

We'll be back next weekend when Kristen Stewart hosts on November 2 with musical guest Coldplay.