SNL: Kenan Thompson, Taraji P. Henson, Mumford & Sons (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

This review was originally posted on Starpulse in April 2015.

With her breakout role as Cookie on “Empire,” Taraji P. Henson has been showcasing her commitment, confidence, and charisma to her biggest audience yet.  These are the qualities that great “SNL” hosts are made of, and in her first appearance at Studio 8H, she had to show them off, both because she was given plenty of roles that required a strong presence and because many of the sketches were running low on premise and thus necessitated strong performances across the board.

Hillary Clinton (BEST OF THE NIGHT) – It has been a delight watching Kate McKinnon develop her Hillary Clinton impression from “promising” to “ready for the big leagues.”  With the real Clinton finally on the verge of announcing her long-presumed 2016 presidential candidacy, her current “SNL” counterpart has made it clear that she will be as much a force to be reckoned with as Ana Gasteyer and Amy Poehler were before her.  This edition wisely went with a domestic setting, as this is a public figure we all know so well that a glimpse into her private sphere is in no way jarring.  Darrell Hammond’s cameo felt a little dated, as there is not as much of a sense of Bill butting in on his wife’s moment as there used to be, but it did effectively inform McKinnon’s wound-up performance. B+