Octavia Spencer Hosted Saturday Night Live

The Average

Zoo-opalis Voice Actors – While it’s great that SNL found a more refreshing way to have some cast members show off their best impressions, there wasn’t much to it besides that. At the same time, I like that SNL approached this in an almost casual, meta way by having Kenan Thompson take a moment to do a Tracy Morgan impression, along with Melissa VillaseƱor firing off some rapid fire voices at the end, including a great Kate McKinnon impersonation.

Jeff Sessions Gump – While I love Kate McKinnon’s geriatric Southern weasel approach to Jeff Sessions, not to mention portraying him as a dimwitted Forrest Gump, there was something about this sketch that just didn’t work as well as it should have. It might be the pacing of the jokes, or the transitions with the fake bus, but something about it felt off. Still, there were some good jokes here that made me laugh.

Youngblood – I love a good SNL sketch that takes a surprising turn, and having Kenan Thompson not know how to play chess was a great twist. Plus, the way he continues to make up rules and get advice from a feisty Octavia Spencer made for some solid chuckles, but nothing remarkable.

The Chocolate Man – Man, I really wanted to like this sketch based on the premise alone, because it’s such an odd 10-to-1 piece, but it never fully came together. Beck Bennett’s fluctuation between that weird chocolate man voice and the guy playing him is really funny, and the rest of the cast barely holding it together at times makes it fairly amusing. Still, the pacing is off, and the sketch has an awful ending.

Drug Company Hearing – Prescription drugs sounds like the less traditional names that black people give to their kids. It’s not the most solid premise, though it does offer up some amusing lines. At the same time, it also creates some difficult dialogue, and Leslie Jones flubbed that by botching what was actually a solid joke.

The Worst

Spencers Gifts HQ – I would love to see a much better sketch about a meeting at Spencers Gifts, because that store is so weird. The only saving grace for this sketch is making Octavia Spencer the owner of Spencers Gifts. That’s pretty much it.

Wine Bar – No matter how hard Cecily Strong enthusiastically tries to sell this sketch, it doesn’t work. There’s a funny premise here, and the fact that Octavia Spencer’s character was using Cecily Strong for her own devices as well adds a nice touch to it, but otherwise, it’s pretty stale.

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