Saturday Night Live returned after almost a month away with Kevin Hart hosting and Sia as the musical guest.
While the show started strong, including a great monologue from Hart about raccoons and putting his son in harm’s way, it stumbled a bit during the second half. Overall though, another good episode in a season full of them with Hart giving a admirable performance during his second time hosting.
Cold Open: Martin Luther King Jr. Visit
The night started out strong with possibly the best cold open of the season. Pete Davidson is a high school student trying to finish a paper about Martin Luther King Jr. who is visited by the civil rights leader.
Davidson and King (Kenan Thompson) discuss the progress made by King while still emphasizing that work still needs to be done. Thompson does a very good job impersonating King, and even fits in some of his own mannerisms and looks for laughs.
Best Sketch: Justin Bieber – Calvin Klein Ads
It’s really hard to choose something other than Kate McKinnon’s amazing Justin Bieber impression. Sure, she plays him as a doofus, but do any of us over the age of 25 think he’s anything but the biggest doofus?
Second Best Sketch: Get On Up
It may have felt a little strange to have a James Brown sketch the same night that SNL Vintage was airing an episode from 1984 hosted by Eddie Murphy. But while this sketch won’t be considered iconic, it was a worthy attempt with a great impression from Hart of “the godfather of soul.”
Weekend Update Moment: The Entire Segment
“Weekend Update” was short this week (under six minutes), so we’ll highlight the entire segment. Anchors Michael Che and Colin Jost had another good week taking shots at Bill Cosby, Rhode Island, and Mitt Romney. Che had another mini “rant,” this time about the Oscar nominations which seems to be turning into a weekly thing.
Kate McKinnon was the only guest this week appearing as Colin Jost’s neighbor Mrs. Santini. McKinnon is hilarious reading notes written on scraps of paper to her neighbors, the “elephant” family, and the “Mario Batali of hot garbage.”
Standout Performers: Sia’s Backup Performers
Last week I wrote about Sia not showing her face during recent appearances, and how this could make for some interesting television. While neither performance was as “weird” as I thought they might be, they were definitely interesting.
Sia was joined by dancers Maddie Ziegler and Denna Thomsen for “Elastic Heart,” with Ziegler reprising her role from the videos for both “Elastic Heart” and “Chandelier.” When Sia took to the stage for the second time, she was standing next to Bradley Leconey, who dressed as a mime and signed along to a slowed down version of her hit “Chandelier.”
The “Why’d You Post That?” sketch featured an appearance by Harry, writer Chris Kelly’s dog. This sketch also had two technical issues with the TV screen going haywire and the couch hitting the wall when Vanessa Bayer was pulled through.
“Corner Boys” hit a little close to home for me with an article appearing this week in the local news comparing Ypsilanti’s relationship with Ann Arbor to Brooklyn and Manhattan. Thankfully, there’s probably not going to be an artisanal mayo place opening here anytime soon.
There were a couple moments that made Hart look very tiny.
Saturday Night Live returns this week with host and musical guest Blake Shelton.