Chance the Rapper continues to be a natural on ‘Saturday Night Live’

Saturday Night Live
Chance the Rapper
October 26, 2019

The impossible-to-not-like Chance the Rapper was back to host Saturday Night Live for a second time, and it turns out that he’s just one of those irritatingly talented people who can do everything. He’s charming, he has impeccable comic timing and delivery and when given good material can pretty much sell anything. Fortunately, aside from one particularly weak sketch and one terrible transphobic joke, most of last night was pretty good material. Is this season going well so far, or am I becoming a big dumb softie? It’s really six of one, half dozen the other, honestly.

Alec Baldwin is back as Trump for the cold open, this time ranting at his fawning crowd about NO QUID PRO QUO! Baldwin’s Trump then does something the actual President would never do: he shares his microphone with his nutty fans who talk about the lizard people plot against him and declare him their “one true white lord.” Also among his fans, an ISIS fighter (a gag that comes somewhat awkwardly on the eve of President I’M BETTER THAN OBAMA announcing that U.S. forces have killed the leader of ISIS).

Also on hand for the bit: Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton, impressed that Trump isn’t being impeached for sex stuff, and Fred Armisen as President Erdogan of Turkey. Also, Kate McKinnon is wedged in there as Lindsey Graham for some reason. I don’t know if the show is trying to Sean Spicer Graham (make him look weak and ineffectual because he’s being portrayed by a woman), but the Graham jokes just don’t land.

Grade: B: 

Chance the Rapper spends his monologue rapping about how he’s from the “Second City” and as such, prefers the “second best” of everything. It’s more charming and funnier than it sounds from that description.

Grade: A-

In Chance the Rapper’s first sketch of the night, he revives a character he played the first time he hosted the show a couple of years ago: Lazlo Holmes, a sports reporter who usually covers the Knicks, but who is pressed into service to cover some white nonsense he doesn’t understand. The first time it was hockey, this time it’s eSports. It works just as well.

Grade: A

A confession: I would be a terrible juror, as my husband and I have a recurring joke where we take one look at a mugshot — usually of someone with multiple face tattoos — and declare, “He did it.” Because stereotypes are hilarious. So, I am DOWN with the First Impressions Court sketch. Judge Barry and I, we know what’s going on, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO VENTRILOQUIST DUMMIES. Also, when it comes to surprise Jason Momoa nipple action. (Jason: the word you’re looking for is “paralegal” not “paraplegic.”)

Grade: A+

This commercial for a Pop Tarts rip-off takes an unexpectedly dark turn. Bonus points to Chance the Rapper’s facial expressions in this one.

Grade: A

A pair of teens are confronted in a cemetery by a quartet of singing ghosts who want to sing to them songs about how they died — except for one spirit who’d rather not talk about it. I won’t spoil the reveal, but everyone is definitely judging him.

Grade: A

Oh, “Weekend Update.” You were doing fine until you got to the Caitlyn Jenner joke. Is it 2015? Because I’m looking around and it appears Donald Trump is president of the United Fucking States, so I don’t think it’s 2015. Transphobic jokes — lazy ones at that — just seem so 2015.

Grade: C

First Jason Momoa swings earrings from his nipples and then Eric Trump mistakes “nippleteasing” for “nepotism.” It’s the all nipple episode, guys!

Grade: A+

In this very high-concept sketch, a woman falls in love at “first sight” with a stranger in a bar, and the pair take literal flight, destroying the place in the process. Good use of physical comedy, though it goes on too long and doesn’t quite know how to end.

Grade: B

YOU CAN’T MAKE MISTAKES IN SPACE. Except that making mistakes in space is what every single space movie is about.

Grade: A-

Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant are the purveyors of show choir outfits in this very niche commercial spoof that will probably ring true with show choir folks.

Grade: B

In the worst bit of the night (aside from Che’s Caitlyn Jenner joke), Kennan Thompson is a dance instructor who turns into a werewolf in the middle of a rehearsal. That’s it. That’s the whole sketch.

I mean, I just don’t know, y’all.

Grade: C-

Instead of that werewolf bit, they should have gone with this 80s drug PSA that they cut for time instead:

Final Grade: A-. That sounds right. 

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

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