Empire’s Taraji P. Henson hosted last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live and made for an enjoyable episode. It had a few more duds than the past two weeks in terms of sketches, but Ms. Henson didn’t let that stop her from having fun and from being a delight to watch. Let’s run down some of the highlights from the episode.
SOCIAL HILARY COLD OPEN
Kate McKinnon opened the show with a bang. McKinnon’s version of Hilary Clinton plans to announce her presidential campaign through social media, but can’t seem to grasp how to come across as natural and approachable. Announcer, and former cast member, Darrell Hammond revisits his icon impersonation of Bill Clinton as well and they make for a very fun opening to the show.
JOHN SINGLETON’S GAME OF THRONES
Instead of a digital short this week, we were treated to the trailer for the newest season of Game Of Thrones. It seems there will be a guest director for the season as we head to the little-known island of South Centros in John Singelton’s Game Of Thrones. The sketch pokes fun at the overall length of Game of Thrones’s story, the amount of deaths, and the family vs. family rivalries of the show while also comparing them to the hard-knock life in the ‘hood Singleton’s biggest films have portrayed. Kenan’s impression of Ice Cube, as well as a cameo from Nikolaj Coster-Waldau made this one of the true gems of the episode.
HOLLYWOOD GAME NIGHT
Kate McKinnon breaks out her spot-on impression of Jane Lynch in this parody of the NBC game show. Obviously the draw is the celebrity impressions, and most are quite enjoyable. The stand-outs include Beck Bennet’s Nick Offerman and Tarji herself as Wanda Sykes who both were able to really embody their celebrity. Taran Killam’s Vin Diesel makes a return, and is just as ridiculous and fun as he was in the Bambi sketch a couple of weeks ago.
COOKIE ON SESAME STREET
If you thought they would make it through an entire episode and not do a skit based on Empire then you were a fool. Taraji brings her wildly popular character Cookie to Sesame Street to negotiate deals, assert her dominance, and find a new coat.
BONUS: MUMFORD AND SONS
While we don’t usually cover the musical guest in our recaps, I believe this episode should be an exception. Mumford and Sons turned into two very powerful performances on the show, and showcased a newer sound to their music that is a bit of a departure. While usually known for their folk style of banjo and guitar music, the boys took to the stage with electric guitars and keyboard to pump out a couple of tunes that felt reminiscent of older U2 material. While different for them, the performances and songs were superb.
What did you think was the ultimate highlight of the episode? Let us know in the comments below.