SNL Promo: Taran Killam, Ariana Grande (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

This review was originally posted on Starpulse in March 2016.

Musical guests may have limited range compared to most “SNL” hosts, but they are still entertainers. On top of that, Ariana Grande is also a veteran of Nickelodeon, which – while excessively hacky – tends to make professionals out of its kid stars. If Grande is given good material, she will know how to hit her marks. So it should not be considered shocking that her hosting debut is mostly a success. But who would have guessed that in the pantheon of great “SNL” hosts, she would be most similar to Kevin Spacey?

CNN America’s Choice 2016 – Once again, the cold opening is a political catchall, but this one works better than most thanks to a more streamlined focus, with only the best impressions of the season (sans Hillary, though her moment comes later). Darrell Hammond and Jay Pharoah have sufficiently creepy chemistry as Trump and Carson, but the real twist is Larry David’s latest Bern-ing cameo. He rants delightfully on and on about the latest foibles of the primary, reserving special disdain for superdelegates (“I’ve met some of these superdelegates. They’re not that super”). B

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