SNL: George Ezra, Dwayne Johnson, Aidy Bryant (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

This review was originally posted on Starpulse in March 2015.

“If you don’t have a boner right now, you should just kill yourself.”

As he noted in his monologue, Dwayne Johnson is known for joining established film franchises and giving them a successful shot in the arm.  Accordingly, his fourth “SNL” hosting stint heavily favored sketches that commented on the host’s reputation and familiar pop culture entities in general.  Many of this season’s hosts, even the most capable ones, have been relegated to mostly utility roles.  But Johnson was effectively given plenty of opportunities to shine, as he was allowed to play to his strengths, and the result was an episode that overall also played to its strengths.

The Rock Obama – While Dwayne Johnson is now unequivocally credited by his birth name, he has no qualms breaking out his wrestling moniker for a particular “SNL” sketch.  He first broke out his hulked-out alter ego of the president the last time he hosted back in March 2009, only a few months into Obama’s first term.  He brought it back in a cameo appearance later that year, and that was enough for it to reach iconic status.  In its current iteration, it was formulaic, but still vibrant enough to be worthwhile.  Michelle She-Hulking out as well provided a welcome addition, so it was nice that Leslie Jones was around to play the part.  Bobby Moynihan went above the call of duty by putting together his weaselly impression of Ted Cruz. B

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