Jeff’s Wacky Back-in-Studio SNL Review: Chris Rock/Megan Thee Stallion

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SNL: Megan Thee Stallion, Chris Rock (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

If we’re responsible during a pandemic, we can return to some of our pre-pandemic routines before the pandemic has fully run its course. And Saturday Night Live sure looks like it’s being responsible, which is presumably how we can explain its return to Studio 8H (with a real-live host, musical guest, and studio audience to boot!) after a trio of resourcefully assembled remote episodes back in the spring.

Pretty much every sketch in this Season 46 opener has something to do with the pandemic in one way or another, which is perfectly reasonable, considering that every part of daily life currently has something to do with the pandemic in one way or another. But host Chris Rock and MG Megan Thee Stallion aren’t here because of pandemic reasons; they’re here because, as is usually the case with SNL guests, they’ve got something to promote (Fargo Season 4 and new music, respectively).

As for me and my SNL viewing routine, as per yoozh, I woke up early on Sunday morning and fired up my DVR. I was feeling a little congested, so I popped some phenylephrine and it seemed to hit the spot. Then I ran 10 miles after Update, and it was off to the races!

In deference to pandemic precautions, I have decided to give each sketch its own line in my review so as to visually represent 6 feet apart. Let’s get to it!

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SNL Love It/Keep It/Leave It: Adam Sandler/Shawn Mendes

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CREDIT: Will Heath/NBC

Jeffrey Malone watches every new episode of Saturday Night Live and then organizes the sketches into the following categories: “Love It” (potentially Best of the Season-worthy), “Keep It” (perfectly adequate), or “Leave It” (in need of a rewrite, to say the least). Then he concludes with assessments of the host and musical guest.

Love It

Holes – So Beck and Kyle discovered that clothes are just holes to cover up your bodily holes, and then they made a song about it, and now we get to bask in the joy of their wonder. It sounds like a cheesy ’80s power ballad, although the sartorial style is more reminiscent of Michael Bolton and other over-the-top soft rockers. And there’s even some “We Didn’t Start the Fire” influence there with the rhyming of Federico Fellini and Roberto Benigni. Wonderfully singular.

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SNL Recap November 1, 2014: Chris Rock/Prince

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SNL: Chris Rock Monologue (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

This review was originally posted on Starpulse in November 2014.

In the past year, “SNL” was widely criticized for its lack of diversity, hired a new black cast member following that public pressure, debuted its first black Weekend Update cast member, and from the writer’s room brought on another black cast member.  So an episode hosted by Chris Rock seemed poised to be the most head-on examination of race on “SNL” in years, or even decades.  While that element was present, it was not really any more so than it has been in the past couple of years.  Overall, in fact, this edition ended up like most episodes of the past couple of years: consisting of mostly new material that was mostly more interesting than fully successful and at its best when it got weird.  Let’s take a closer look at each of the sketches.

The Kelly File – There was no particular need for “SNL” to parody this particular Fox News talk show to cover the Kaci Hickox Ebola story.  This sketch did not break apart the form of “The Kelly File,” nor did Cecily Strong offer that strong of an impression.  Thus, the whole thing was rather formless.  Bobby Moynihan continued to play Chris Christie as loud and obnoxious, which is fine, while Kate McKinnon played Kaci Hickox as a typical Kate McKinnon character who won’t take any guff from someone like Chris Christie, which is also fine.  But ultimately, this sketch didn’t really say anything. C

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