I was excited for this week’s episode of Saturday Night Live because Kevin Hart is generally great, and it was easy to imagine him doing very well as a host. And he did do very well as a host! It is just too bad that the rest of the show didn’t do particularly well at being the rest of the show! The cold open about the sequester budget cuts was disappointing in the way that almost all political cold opens are disappointing: it didn’t have anything to say. I love silly jokes — they are my favorite kind of jokes — but they’re better reserved for more creative scenarios. A parade of silly budget cuts ending with a YMCA joke seems (TO ME) (maybe you loved it!) like a waste of political material. Do something different if you don’t have anything to say about politics! We’ll still know Obama exists! I PROMISE! Moving on, Kevin Hart’s monologue was ridiculous. As comedians tend, he did a selection of stand-up that, out of place in its SNL opening monologue setting, reminded me so much of ‪one of the Billy Balowski‬ rambling monologues from The Young Ones that I actually kind of loved it? Hahah. It was so silly! And rapid-fire! I’LL TAKE IT! The show went from the monologue into a terrible Steve Harvey sketch, which, like the rest of the night, showed Kevin Hart obviously trying his very best with what he was given. Let’s take a look at when it worked!

I want to open with the “Z-Shirt” sketch because it was so fucking great and I loved it so much. Kevin Hart was great. The idea was great. Very silly, which I LOVE, AS YOU KNOW. A+.

And when it came back at the funeral? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? A++++++

I liked the “Recording Session” sketch. I forget whether it came before or after the “Z Shirt” sketch during the show (though I think it came after), but it FOR SURE only seemed like another “Kevin Hart is very funny when he yells”-type of sketch, and I FOR SURE still thought it was funny. So. I understand if you didn’t like it! One problem I had, though, was Vanessa Bayer’s ALSO joke-y vocal. If the humor comes in the contrast of what would be good for the commercial and what would be bad for it, then I think it would have made more sense if the “good” one were actually good? Right?

Haha, the “Barnes & Noble employees” sketch is another one that I definitely understand someone disliking, as it was only a direct re-do of the “McDonalds employees” sketch that a bunch of people didn’t like the first time around, but I still thought it was funny! 0/10 points for creativity but 8/10 points for making me laugh a bunch of times.

Did you guys like the “Walking Dead” sketch? The reliance upon race-based humor was a little overwhelming in this episode overall and reached its peak here. I wasn’t a fan, really! Though maybe the Walking Dead jokes were enough to save it for you guys? Or did it just bring up bad memories of how Gabe is no longer doing Walking Dead recaps?

Weekend Update was enjoyable this week and included a “Really?!,” which is always nice to see.

Finally, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performed “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us.” I know Macklemore has become someone people love to hate, but I do not hate him! He seems like a real sweetheart and his songs are fun and I like to watch him dance. Chill out, dudes. His SNL performances were entertaining and actually sounded good, which is rare for an SNL performance.


Comments (25)
  1. Kelly, you should have given the Z Shirt sketch a Z-plus, then we could’ve had fun all day going back and forth asking if the grade was an A-plus, B-plus, etc. Why don’t you like to have fun?

  2. Loved Z-shirt. I like it when SNL is not afraid to be weird. Kevin Hart did great in all his sketches, but the sketches themselves were not the best! I did like the Dove chocolate sketch because Dove has ridiculous commercials and even more ridiculous “inspirational” messages on their wrappers. Also, why did they replay that Starbucks commercial? Out of all the things to re-air, why the hell would they choose that?

    I thought Macklemore did a good job, though I am very tired of hearing “Thrift Shop.” It’s a fun song, but it’s been so overplayed! It is always weird to see edited versions of songs performed because there is not really a good way to do it. I really like “Can’t Hold Us,” and I love the guy who sings the chorus! He is adorable and a great singer.

  3. Macklemore is Tilda Swinton’s most daring performance to date.

  4. Ahhh, thank you for not hating Macklemore. He is great! I can understand why people might be sick of “Thrift Shop” but I still love it.

    The funniest part of the Really sketch was “Saying you’re less racist now is like getting pulled over for a DUI and telling the police officer ‘I’ve been drunker.’” Very funny.

  5. Aside from Z-shirt, my favorite part of the episode was the 15-second Daft Punk commercial.

  6. There was a commercial for Steve Harvey’s show! Toward the end of the night. It was like they wanted us to know that was at thing that really existed!

    • I have never watched a full episode of Steve Harvey’s show, but I did accidentally turn it on on Halloween and there was Steve Harvey sitting next to a little kid dressed as Steve Harvey in the suit and the mustache and everything and from then on I decided that the Steve Harvey show was my favorite show and that I would never ruin that by watching it ever again.

  7. My favorite part of all the Macklemore performances were that there were so many people on stage pretending to either sing or play instruments who obviously weren’t doing either of those things, and it was adorable. I’ve almost never had a problem with someone lip/horn syncing in a situation like SNL, and it just seemed like they went way over the top with it.

    Otherwise, I definitely DEFINITELY loved Z-shirt, and I also had problems with Vanessa Bayer’s delivery in the Dove chocolate sketch because when I think of a Dove chocolate voiceover I literally can’t think of what it sounds like because it’s so neutral that I just forget that it exists, and her delivery was NOT neutral and was in fact VERY annoying. So yeah, agree with everything Kelly said, nothing new to add, whole bunch of words for nothing. Amen.

  8. I was kind of disappointed because I think Kevin Hart’s stand up is really really great. I liked the Shark Tank thing because that one lady’s impression of the lady was great, but the Kevin Hart guy could have been such a sillier parody…all of the people on that show have a similar story or thing to parody…it just could have been so much funnier. Other stuff was funny. I thought they were going to make more jokes about how The Walking Dead is pretty rough on its black characters (case in point:


  9. I thought it was pretty great! Probably the best of the year so far (though I haven’t watched every episode, but from what I read the ones I haven’t seen were terrible).

    The monologue was great and was actually a monologue with a beginning, middle and end. I figured the sandwich-palming stuff was probably just some re-purposed stand-up, but at least it related to why he didn’t want to come back to New York or whatever.

    Z-Shirt was awesome and there weren’t any super duds. The worst sketches were probably the cold open, the recording session and the Shark Tank just as far as not having a lot of big laughs, but none of them were outright terrible, and they did a good job of keeping the sketches short enough that they didn’t drag on interminably, which is pretty rare for SNL.

    • Shark Tank was a little bit of a dud for me, but probably just because I’ve never seen an episode of Shark Tank, but I DID love Kevin Hart’s “Good afternoon Shorks. Lady Shork.”

    • Also, I just realized that I actually saw Tim Robinson in “South Side of Heaven” at Second City in Chicago on my bachelor party!

  10. I’ll hold it down for the Macklemore haters in this thread. Thrift Shop is a neat idea for a song presented in a very corny and insufferable manner. And his flow as a rapper in general is so garbage he makes Slug look like Q-Tip. Seems like a nice enough fellow though.

  11. I would just appreciate anyone saying anything about Macklemore & Ryan Lewis that isn’t about Thrift Shop, and about one of the other 13 songs on his album (17 if it’s the deluxe editiion).

    Singles get played out (obviously), and people hate all over everything these days anyway. Some of the other tracks like Can’t Hold Us (performed on SNL) or Neon Cathedral or Wing$ or Same Love have a bit more to them than Thrift Shop.

    Also, Ryan Lewis makes some really fun music, and more people need to talk about him (I think he’s the more talented one of the group).

  12. There was a surprising amount of “SNL is racist!!!!!1!1!1!!!” on twitter, which I thought was weird because there weren’t any jokes relying on the fact that Kevin Hart is black. He played the manager of a Barnes & Noble, a character anyone of any race could have played. He played a couple yelling guys, which Taran Killam, a white person, and Bill Hader, another white person, do pretty much every week. He was in the Z-Shirt sketch, which was a parody of those types of 90′s commercials with the terrible graffiti-ed basketball court. It was more of a joke on the attempt at political correctness in those kinds of things (where was the guy in the wheelchair?!). The Walking Dead sketch was also great and not racist.

    People are so quick to call “racist!” for some reason. I guess because they don’t want to appear insensitive, which is understandable. But, pointing out that a black person is a black person is not racist.

    • Yeah, the Walking Dead sketch was the only one that really broached the subject of race, but that was about the white characters trying too hard to not be racist more than it was about anything Hart’s character actually did.

  13. I thought Hart was OK (I’m not a huge fan of his comedy although he seems like a nice enough guy) but did anyone else notice that he couldn’t read the cue cards all night?

    Z-Shirts — particularly the punchline by way of the funeral — was really funny.

  14. Jay Pharoah cold open = Ugghhhhh.

  15. I’ve never seen Walking Dead, but I really liked that sketch. It kills me when Nasim plays children.

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