Kevin Hart’s Christmas ‘Saturday Night Live’ episode was a giant lump of coal

Saturday Night Live
Kevin Hart & Foo Fighters
December 9, 2017

Hoo boy. HOO BOY.

The concept for this week’s cold open is that Trump is decorating his Christmas tree with ornaments bearing the faces of the “losers” he has fired since taking office because that’s a thing. There are a couple of good lines in there and Scarlett Johansson returns to do her Ivanka (which, considering she’s dating Colin Jost, is actually not that big of a deal) but overall, this feels half-baked at best. At yet, they managed to get 7 1/2 minutes out of it!

Grade: B-

Kevin Hart, what the hell are you doing? I know you just had a baby, and good for you and all that, but using that as the basis of your monologue only served to remind people that you recently admitted to cheating on your then-pregnant wife. And as if that’s not bad enough, then you go on to do a whole sexist bit about how moms aren’t “fun” and what a hardship this is for fathers and just … man … now is not the time for SO MANY REASONS.

Grade: D

The episode’s commercial spoof almost felt like a response to Kevin Hart’s routine, pointing out men’s tone deafness and laziness. It was just the right sketch at just the right time.

Grade: A

I don’t even know what to say about this 5 1/s minute-long poop joke except “no.”

Grade: D 

In this bit, Hart plays superhero Captain Shadow who is racially profiled by the cops. Remarkably (and unusually) Hart is the straight man here, giving the manic comedic role to Chris Redd as Captain Shadow’s enthusiastic 16-year-old sidekick. Redd has been a solid performer all season, but he really shines here. (I do question the way they chose to close this sketch, but I’m not going to be a nitpicker.)

Grade: A

This “Inside Basketball” sketch felt like something Kenan Thompson had already written up with the intention to do with Jay Pharaoh but never had the chance before Pharaoh left the show. You know who Kevin Hart is not? Jay Pharaoh.

Grade: C-

“Weekend Update” had a bit of sassy sharpness this week going after Roy Moore, the Black vote, the call for Trump to resign over the allegations of sexual assault.

Grade: A-

Leslie Jones’ Omarosa returns from the cold open to explain that she was not fired.

Grade: A

The Guy Who Just Bought a Boat gives his best holiday dating tips. They are all terrible.

Grade: B

In this bit, a live nativity play employs a llama with a boner. I mean, OK?

Grade: C+

The worst sketch of the evening was without question, this “Christmas Party” bit, in which Kevin Hart plays Leslie Jones’ henpecked husband, who is forced to molest a giant teddy bear. I am not sure who is more uncomfortable, the other guests at the “party” or the audience. (It’s the audience.)

Grade: F

In the final sketch of the night, Kevin Hart plays “Action Jack,” a PBS TV show host from the 70s and Kenan Thompson plays “Action Jack” 40 years later. It’s sweet and involves exactly 0 people shitting their pants, llama erections or victimized teddy bears.

Grade: A-

And as a Christmas bonus since I was so late with this week’s recap, here’s the Kyle Mooney sketch that was cut for time.

Final Grade: C+. I really hated that Office Phone Call sketch

Saturday Night Live airs at 10:30/11:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC. It returns on January 13.


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