This week SNL alum Chris Rock returned to host joined by Prince as musical guest. Rock, who has since become one of the biggest stand up comedians in the world and just written and directed the film Top Five, which was a huge hit at the Toronto International Film Festival and will arrive in theaters December 12. Top Five boasts an insane cast of comedy stars including Rock, Adam Sandler, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, J. B. Smoove, Whoopi Goldberg and Cedric the Entertainer.
Chris Rock Monologue
It’s always fun when stand ups visit SNL because usually their opening monologue is some of their strongest material from their current set. This week saw Rock in his element, on stage talking about Halloween and the New York City Marathon, the Freedom Tower and making money on “Jesus’ Birthday.”
In what was, I would say, the strongest sketch of the night, Rock plays a concerned father to dance vlogger daughter Janelle (Sasheer Zamata), a 15-year-old YouTube sensation who is a little more sexual than she might realize. Because teenage angst is always funny, as are over the top dance moves, watch Janelle “live stream” her dancing for 3 million fans before her dad interrupts.
Weekend Update: Katt Williams and Suge Knight
While I’m still of the opinion that Weekend Update is struggling to find its groove this season, the guests at the desk continue to be amusing including Jay Pharoah as Katt Williams and Keenan Thompson as Suge Knight commenting on their arrest in Beverly Hills this past week. Pharoah, as always, nailed his Williams impression and Thompson was hilarious as the hip hop mogul.
“Shark Tank” was a sketch that was an excellent concept but that the audience was not on board with from the start. Nevertheless, fighting an uphill battle were Chris Rock and Kyle Mooney as two members of an up-and-coming organization pitching their concept, a hot new brand called ISIS, to the sharks.
Taylor Swift has been everywhere this week as her latest album, 1989, hit stores and blew up the iTunes chart. Saturday Night Live aired a spoof commercial for a new drug made for adults who find themselves suffering vertigo at the realization that they are not only listening to but enjoying a Taylor Swift song.
Musical Guest: Prince
Last, but certainly not least, The Purple One also known as Prince, played a mega set last night on SNL performing three songs including “Clouds,” “Marz” and “Another Love” with his band 3rdeyegirl.
Overall, last nights episode was uneven at best. Rock was lively and looked like he was having a lot of fun but most of the cast appeared to have trouble with their cue cards and a lot of the sketches, while having strong concepts, fell flat with the audience. We got to see a lot more of Kyle Mooney and Leslie Jones, two performers who I’ve enjoyed watching grow over the last few episodes.
SNL is off next week and returns on November 15 with host Woody Harrelson and musical guest Kendrick Lamar.