Spirited a performance though Kanye West gave at this past weekend’s SNL under host Melissa McCarthy, the always-tempestuous artist appeared visibly upset in his brief promo appearances. There may have been more to that story than West’s usual dour expression however, as reports claim Kanye very nearly bailed last-minute over stress.
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Last week, Beyoncé released a surprise new music video for her new song “Formation” and the world temporarily hit pause on itself so everyone could watch it, as is often the case when she does just about anything. However, this song and its video instantly courted controversy, as far too many white commenters and writers and what-have-you found themselves churning out think pieces and hot takes about how the beloved pop singer used this opportunity to embrace her heritage. In other words, a bunch of white people suddenly found themselves deeply uncomfortable that Beyoncé was black and SNL has parodied this with a fake movie trailer.
Although Melissa McCarthy was the guest host on last night’s episode of SNL, the show found a great sketch in which to showcase musical guest Kanye West. Naturally, the sketch involves the always controversial hip hop artist facing down cast member Kyle Mooney, who decides to challenge West to a rap battle. Let’s just say that it doesn’t go well for one of them.
Melissa McCarthy returned to Studio 8H for her fourth outing as SNL host, and while it may have made more sense for her to host closer to the April release date of her new comedy The Boss, it's difficult to complain. McCarthy teams up with her Ghostbusters co-stars Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones for a mostly great episode that really leans into the weird stuff and makes excellent use of musical guest Kanye West in an early contender for best sketch of the year. Read on for our ranking of this week's sketches from best to worst.
Only two SNL outings will occupy February 2016 between Larry David and Melissa McCarthy, and March 5 will pick up the torch with another four-timer. Hail, Caesar! star Jonah Hill will return to the SNL stage, joined by musical guest Future.
SNL set a pretty high bar for the rest of Season 41 with Larry David’s hosting debut this past weekend, but will Melissa McCarthy prove so reliable with Kanye West, given all the controversy of late? Get a taste by the first promos as McCarthy gets her nails done with Vanessa Bayer.
Around this time last year, SNL presented a commercial parody centering around Totino’s Pizza Rolls, just in time for the Super Bowl. And it was a nasty piece of business, tearing apart the image of the NFL’s biggest game as a day for men and imprisoning Vanessa Bayer’s indefatigable housewife in the kitchen, where she was simply tasked with warming up more disgusting food. So when SNL aired another Totino’s sketch in last night’s episode, we simply assumed it would be a carbon copy of the first one. Boy, were we wrong.
And like that, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders became the third presidential hopeful to appear on SNL this season. While Donald Trump hosted an entire episode last year and Hillary Clinton put in a brief appearance as a bartender counseling Kate McKinnon’s version of her, Sanders’ cameo is a bit more disconnected and bit weirder. Most importantly though, it puts him right next to guest host Larry David, who has been playing him in the show’s political sketches this season.
If you're going to have the great Larry David host a full episode of SNL, there are two obvious areas of parody. First, you simply have to give him more to do as Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, whose unlikely showing in the recent Democratic presidential primaries have made David a regular guest star this season. Second, you need to riff on Curb Your Enthusiasm, his (possibly) late, great HBO sitcom that redefined cringe comedy. And in this case, SNL found a a way to combine the two.
It’s kind of amazing that Larry David has never hosted SNL, and up until recently he had never really appeared on the show, either (save for a couple of tiny appearances back in the ’80s). David only managed to get one sketch on the show in the year he spent writing for SNL back in 1984–85, but now, after Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm and a couple of cold open cameos as Bernie Sanders, David finally has his chance to host. How did he do? Read on for our ranking of this week’s sketches from best to worst.