Chance the Rapper Hosted Saturday Night Live

Weekend Update

It was nice to see that SNL didn’t hold back from taking jabs at former writer and cast member Al Franken in their approach of the headline-making sexual harassment case made against the sitting senator. Otherwise, this was one of the more tame editions of Weekend Update for Colin Jost and Michael Che, and that’s mostly because it was the side characters who filled out the segment this time.

Jeff Sessions – As much as I love Kate McKinnon’s Jeff Sessions impression, the exaggerated characterization of the politician doesn’t work quite as well in a Weekend Update setting. Maybe it’s just the writing in this particular segment wasn’t all that great, but I think this cartoonish impersonation works better in a real sketch rather than a conversational style like this.

Bruce Chandling on Thanksgiving – With the exception of the pre-recorded sketches he does with Beck Bennett, we haven’t seen a lot of great stuff from Kyle Mooney lately. But thankfully, Bruce Chandling returned to the Weekend Update desk. I feel like there are so many people who just don’t get this character especially based on the sporadic laughter from the live audence, and maybe that’s because is expressly crafted for stand-up comedy nerds. The awful jokes and inevitable turn to sadness never ceases to crack me up. I hope SNL never gives up on this character.

Pete Davidson on Staten Island – Ladies and gentlemen, Pete Davidson. It’s been awhile since Davidson had a home run at the Weekend Update desk, but this time he knocked it way out of the park. Some of the best comedy is that which comes from real life, and this is clearly one of those situations. It looks like Pete Davidson’s hometown of Staten Island doesn’t really like him all that much, but they love to kiss fellow resident Colin Jost’s ass quite often. This bit is so damn good, and I love that Davidson uses it as an opportunity to take even more jabs at Staten Island.

The Host

It appears as if Chance the Rapper can do anything. Not only is he already a successful rapper, but he has a new movie coming out, and now it’s clear that he can hold his own with some of the best sketch comedians in the business. Though Chance the Rapper was clearly nervous during his monologue, even flubbing part of his Thanksgiving song, you could clearly see him getting more confident and comfortable throughout the night. I could easily see Chance the Rapper becoming a host along the lines of Justin Timberlake where people get excited whenever he comes to the show. At least I hope that’s the case.

The MVP

Saturday Night Live - Kenan Thompson as Steve Harvey

Kenan Thompson (runner-up: Chance the Rapper) – While Chance the Rapper deserves all the credit in the world for being an outstanding host for his first time out, Kenan Thompson was the one who increasingly brought the big laughs during this episode. Some think Thompson’s schtick gets old, but for me, he’s pitch perfect and does exactly what he’s supposed to do in this ensemble cast.

The Final Word

This is undoubtedly the best episode of the season so far, and it was nice to have one like this after two rather disappointing episodes preceding it. What I loved about this particular episode is that the presence of Chance the Rapper allowed the black members of the Saturday Night Live cast to shine much more. You might think that’s the result of having a black host, but that’s not how it worked with Tiffany Haddish. Whatever the reason, it was nice for Saturday Night Live to actually let the diverse side of their cast take the spotlight.

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