SNL: Melissa McCarthy and Kanye West (musical guest and participant in one skit with Kyle Mooney) were the honorees on February 13, and, coincidentally, the 13th episode of the 41st season of the long running comedy show. The opening sequence where an invisible Hilary Clinton (Kate McKinnon) tries her best to woo some voters away from Bernie Sanders, set the tone of the evening.
This open was oddly eclectic but spot-on as Clinton was in the news for earning as much as Bernie in the polls after he won New Hampshire by a landslide.
McCarthy was the host, obviously, because the new gender-changed Ghostbusters is out this year; premiering in July and just as obviously, Leslie Jones was given a bit more to do since she is a co-star in the upcoming re-imagining of the 80s classic.
Jones was on fire in this episode. Ruling Weekend Update with her diatribe about her perfect man for Valentine’s Day. Possibly the best bit had to be wanting a man who can:
“cook a steak but not have to cut into it and see if it’s cooked like a little b*tch.”
This said while looking pointedly at Colin Jost…
Keeping on the Jones “fan train” a bit longer, the entire sketch about Pick Up Lines, was funny with McCarthy playing a psychotic single. As great as Melissa was with her “my uncle is a serial killer” she was not nearly as funny as Jones who kept losing it throughout the skit.
Leslie Jones specializes in playing over the top and in your face type characters that are hysterically funny. The performer’s demeanor always seems to be focussed on the performance at hand, yet McCarthy had her Ghostbusters co-star almost continuously corpsing.
Before any of the show’s skits started, Melissa came out and did a “glove under the seat” gag and then began celebrating her “fifth” time hosting until Keenan Thompson, dressed as a number 5, tells her that she has only hosted 4 and 1/16th time.
The highlight of Lorne Michaels and his writers continuing the show’s black awareness crusade, that began with the Oscars tempest in an award’s program (started by the Smiths…), was the fake film trailer for “The Day Beyonce Turned Black.”
This was hysterically funny and Keenan Thompson gets the best verbal joke out of the entire skit, with Aidy Bryant getting the best visual (a take-off on The Others), when telling Kate McKinnon’s character that in the Pink Panther movie:
“Okay, yeah, she (Beyonce) was white in that…”
Although McKinnon goes on to get the best “homage” moment when she replicates the “pillow” moment in The Babadook.
Up next was an excellent parody of those audience reaction promos for horror films, in this case “The Cul-De-Sac” (a horror film, obviously) and the audience have a chance to view their reactions to the movie before signing their release forms. McCarthy is beyond funny with her character’s OTT reactions that get more extreme with each event.
For the record: McCarthy vomits, pees herself, attacks other audience members and rushes out the emergency exit.
Peter Davidson was funny in the “watching a sex scene with your parents” gag. McCarthy played the “hand’s on” mom and Bobby Moynihan the father and all three gave great “voice-over” as their character’s inner thoughts got increasingly desperate.
Next up was Kanye West’s first performance, obviously West was on to promote his new album The Life of Pablo that dropped on Saturday.
Weekend Update featured not just a winning performance from Jones but allowed Vanessa Bayer to rock it with her Rachel from Friends impression. The next sketch was the Pick Up Lines one with McCarthy just killing Jones through the entire routine.
Not content with just singing twice on SNL. Kanye appears in a pre-taped segment where Kyle Mooney does a “mockumentary” about his true ambition; to be a hip-hop artist and rapper who will beat out Kanye West in a battle.
Interestingly shot and crafted well, the moment that Mooney meets with Kanye backstage and begins to awkwardly “bring it,” the whole thing comes together with the snap of a bear trap springing shut. West leaps into the “we miss the old Kanye” and slaughter’s Mooney and the wannabe rapper ends the sequence convinced that he won.
In honor of Jones and McCarthy’s teaming in the upcoming Ghostbusters film, they get to work together in a bus sketch where Melissa’s character rambles on about Roots and increasingly annoys Jones’ character. As the type of person one wishes to avoid on public transport, McCarthy does her bit to help race relations…not.
The skit ends on a “Speed” note. Afterward the second, overly-long, Kanye number is performed; backed by Young Thugs. The final skit had McKinnon as the cat-lady with McCarthy as her partner. Line of the night, which is the second reference to O.J. Simpson since the Weekend Update segment, goes to McKinnon:
“We call this cat O.J. because he’s orange like the juice and a murderer like the athlete.”
All in all a good show but not one where McCarthy actually killed it her fourth (and one sixteenth) time hosting. The performer still seems to be channelling her inner Tammy, albeit a more svelte version.
SNL with its 13th episode of season 41 had a few outstanding moments and allowed Leslie Jones to rock it. There was at least one mystery in the show and that was the T-Shirt that Kanye was sporting at the end of the show.