SNL: Gwen Stefani, Peter Dinklage, Kate McKinnon (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

This review was originally posted on Starpulse in April 2016.

When Peter Dinklage is in a comedy setting, the two most obvious sources of humor are “Game of Thrones” parodies and cracks about his height. There are already plenty of examples of the former, and there is always the risk of being hacky or insulting with the latter. So in his “SNL” debut, the Westeros jokes are rare and have a whiff of exhaustion, while his size is basically only utilized for one visual gag. As for the rest of the episode, he is uniformly competent, but – with a few exceptions – he deserves more memorable roles.

CNN At This Hour – A modern habit of “SNL’s” political material is the variety of its news show parodies. Where 90’s “SNL” featured plenty of “Nightline” sketches, and “Hardball” dominated the early 2000’s, the 2010’s seem intent on taking on every CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News program. It is hard to understand why. “At This Hour” has hardly broken into the zeitgeist, nor is there anything about it that makes it especially fit to elucidate Donald Trump’s foibles. As for this sketch’s actual hook, it points out Trump’s misogyny and tendency to attract violence, but it does not do anything surprising with those qualities. C

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