‘Saturday Night Live’: Kim Kardashian defies (low) expectations

Saturday Night Live
Kim Kardashian & Halsey
October 9, 2021

When it was announced a few weeks ago that Kim Kardashian was going to host Saturday Night Live, the reaction was entirely predictable: outrage, derision, irritation. After all, what exactly qualifies Kim Kardashian, famous for being … famous, to be the host of television’s longest-running sketch comedy series? Can she act? Is she funny? Does she have any talent at all? In fact, the answers to those questions are in order: “No,” “No,” and “No.” Last night, Kardashian was just as monotone and stiff as she is in her Instagram posts, adding little to any particular sketch other than her own Kim Kardashian-ness.

However, if you think I’m going to completely shit on this episode, you might be disappointed. I don’t think the episode was particularly good — I certainly don’t think it was as good as people are falling over themselves to say it was over on Twitter — but it wasn’t the utter disaster that it could have been, either. After all, the Elon Musk episode was just not that long ago; we all remember what a host completely devoid of talent can do to this show. It ain’t pretty.

Instead, I think this episode was salvaged from catastrophe by two very important things:

1. To Kardashian’s credit, she and her family were all more than happy to poke fun of themselves and their image.

2. The writers not only knew the Kardashians and their brand well enough to craft multiple sketches around them, but also knew that Kim Kardashian could really only be able to handle playing Kim Kardashian, and so they wrote to her very limited strengths.

Again, it was not a great episode — it was not even a particularly good one. But thanks to low expectations, the Kardashians understanding that being able to laugh at themselves is money in the bank, and some very skillful writing, the Kim Kardashian episode will be remembered as being better than it had any right to be.

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