Tiffany Haddish Hosted Saturday Night Live

The Average

The Dolphin Who Learned to Speak – I want to like this sketch more than I do, if only because it’s pulled off so earnestly with such a realistic documentary approach. But unfortunately the premise of scientists jerking off dolphins only goes so far. I feel like there’s much more that could have been done with this sketch idea if the writers had more time to flesh it out, but instead we got an average version of it instead. But there were still some good laughs here. For the science.

Whiskers R We – I hate to say it, but I think Whiskers R We has started to run its course. When more of the laughs come from the difficulty that Kate McKinnon and the host of the week have with wrangling the cats, I think it’s time to call it a day. The punchlines are funny, and I enjoyed watching this particular renditon but I can also still recognize its waning success. Plus, I think bringing in Katt Williams is a real shark-jumping moment for this recurring bit. I still chuckled, but again, not often enough. Kudos to Haddish for that quick improvisational line when one of the cats tried to jump out of their pen.

Roy Moore & Jeff Sessions – As much as I love Kate McKinnon as Jeff Sessions, her goofy, backwoods characterization only goes so far. Otherwise, Beck Bennett’s Mike Pence is a bit stale, and it doesn’t feel like their skewering of Roy Moore had enough bite to it. There are some solid punchlines here, including that “kidding” line, but the best jab at Roy Moore came from Weekend Update later in the show.

The Last Black Unicorn – Tiffany Haddish’s laugh and whinny was funny by itself, but otherwise, this sketch was a little too simplistic in its execution and felt too easy. The premise was funny, and the arrival of Leslie Jones helped, but otherwise, it felt like it played it safe.

The Worst

Lion King Auditions – Usually these alternate screen tests are a high point, but yikes. The impressions throughout this sequence of The Lion King screen tests were not very good. The only ones that really landed for me were Beck Bennett as Nick Offerman and Heidi Gardner as Kristen Schaal, but that’s about it.

Message from the DNC – Though I appreciate some relevant jabs at the desperate Democratic party, something just felt off about this sketch. It’s timely, but it doesn’t feel like a necessary addition to the line-up.

Get Woke with Tamika – If this is Leslie Jones’ attempt at creating a recurring character, it did not work. She had some trouble with the cue cards, and the timing didn’t feel like it was executed properly. That somewhat fits in with the premise of having a host who doesn’t really know what they’re doing, almost like a woke, female Brian Fellows, but it didn’t feel intentional. I feel like this character could work, but this first iteration didn’t land very well.

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