It’s not often that a musical guest pulls double duty as a host on ‘SNL’—we’ve seen some pretty great ones over the years, whose natural charisma lends itself well to the gig, and we’ve seen some…not so great ones, where we (along with the folks at ‘SNL’) were more enamored with the concept than with the execution. This week brings country music star ‘The Voice’ host (there’s a little NBC synergy for you) Blake Shelton to the ‘SNL’ stage, but does he belong? Read on for our official ranking of this week’s ‘SNL’ sketches from best to worst.
Every time ‘SNL’ features a sketch built around a celebrity game show, it means one thing and one thing only: you’re about to see a whole bunch of impressions. This time, it’s the celebrity edition of ‘Family Feud’ starring the respective casts of ‘American Idol’ and ‘The Voice,’ a creative decision obviously driven by the presence of country star Blake Shelton as the guest host.
The two weeks between the NFL division championships and the Super Bowl are a notoriously slow period for sports news, so it’s no wonder that “deflategate” has gone from being a strange little conspiracy tale to a national scandal that has dominated major news cycles. Did anyone expect ‘SNL’ to not get in on something so, well, dumb?
There was no way ‘SNL’ was going to snag country music superstar Blake Shelton as a guest host and not do a country music video parody. After all, Shelton’s experience as a comedic performer is limited, but his experience in crooning songs about heartbreak and troubled times is not. So this brings us to a bizarre little song called ”Wishin’ Boot,” which is literally about a magical cowboy boot that shows up when people are in need and deliver exactly what they want.
‘SNL’’s choice to follow up Kevin Hart’s 2015 premiere hosting with ‘The Voice’ coach and newbie Blake Shelton pulling double duty seemed a risky venture, but the Southern singer fits in just fine by his first promos with cast member Cecily Strong. Watch Shelton get his obligatory chair-spin (and call out that punk Adam Levine) in our first look at this weekend’s ‘SNL!’
J. K. Simmons has been giving us ‘Whiplash’ for decades now with head-turning performances in everything from ‘Spider-Man’ to ‘The Legend of Korra,’ but with the ‘Kong: Skull Island’ star finally nominated for an Oscar, that most hallowed of New York institutions will give Simmons his due. J.K. will host the final January ‘SNL’ installment of 2015, no “jk” about it.
Kevin Hart may have spent the past few years becoming one of the biggest movie and comedy stars in America, but last night’s ‘SNL’ proved that the ‘Ride Along’ and ‘The Wedding Ringer’ star is entirely unafraid to make fun of himself. Hart made for a strong guest host, capable of playing variations on himself and new characters quite well. However, one sketch made direct fun of his public image and personality and he went right along with it.
Sometimes, you watch an ‘SNL’ sketch and can’t help but wonder how it managed to escape the writer’s room and survive dress rehearsal and actually make it into the final show. This scene, a medieval musical about a kingdom ravaged by a fire-breathing dragon, is such a scene.
‘SNL’ returns from winter break with comedian Kevin Hart (and musical guest Sia, who’s an event all her own), and it definitely doesn’t feel like they’ve taken a break at all. There’s very little readjustment, and Hart brings an energy to the show that certainly helps keep this solid season going strong. So how was this weekend’s new episode? Read on for a ranking of the ‘SNL’ sketches from best to worst.
The ‘SNL’ digital shorts may have begun as scrappy little projects fueled by random jokes and silliness, but recent years have seen them evolve into so much more. When they’re at their best, they play more like little short films that feel like complete entities. When they’re at their absolute best, they make you forget that you’re watching a 40 year-old comedy sketch show in the first place. Last night’s digital short felt more, alive, funny, and complete than just about any actual “live” sketch.