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Saturday Night Live returned after a two-week hiatus with host Kevin Hart and musical guests Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Hart has established his comedic skills in stand-up acts and movies, like Think Like a Man, and is known for delivering a spirited and adrenalized performance.
The show opened with a skit of a press conference with President Obama. Jay Pharoah reprises his impression of the president, and attempts to explain the sequester in human terms since he claims to have no idea how money works. The president mentions how the cuts will affect all jobs used to federal funding, even his wife Michelle. He pokes fun of Michelle Obama’s numerous television appearances, and how she will only be able to do 4 a week, instead of 75. Towards the end, it results in a “YMCA” gag with the Village People.
Hart’s monologue starts off with an elaborate story about the last time he visited New York City. Apparently, he had a run in with a homeless man who was palming sandwiches. Next, Hart jokes about his failed audition for ‘SNL.’ He says there are no hard feelings, but seems to clearly remember the 6 or 7 months, 22 days and 6 hours that have passed since the audition. He also shows off the Avery Johnson, Robert De Niro, and Denzel Washington impressions they were not impressed with.
The show included some sketches parodying Steve Harvey, Wolf Blitzer, and even ‘The Walking Dead.’ The Steve Harvey Show parody focused on overcoming phobias, which Harvey continuously mispronounces. Hart appears on the show as a guy with a fear of horses. A giant stuffed horse is rolled out, and they both end up scared and hiding behind a chair. Next up was a parody of ‘The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.’ It included coverage of the Pope at the Vatican. The sketch was centered around the idea of Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis being named Pope. Hart, who stars as Wallis, mocks her signature muscular arms pose and even breaks into the dougie. Cecily Strong and Bobby Moynihan are the main focus of a sketch where employees throw insults at their fellow Barnes and Nobles co-workers. Hart even begins to crack a smile at some points during this one.
The Weekend Update opened with a dig at John Boehner and his refusal to negotiate with democrats, henceforth being good at not doing his job. The highlight of the Weekend Update was a brief appearance by Jay Pharoah as Dennis Rodman and Bobby Moynihan as Kim Jong-Un. They joke about Kim Jong-Un being a basketball fan because he is the tallest man in North Korea. Hart is included in the segment by joining Seth for ‘Really???’ and critiquing the Voting Rights Act.
The Walking Dead sketch was in the last half-hour of the show. Hart plays a walker that is trying to fool a group of humans. He claims he is not a walker, despite his groans, zombie walk, and obsession with Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ dance. He scolds the group of humans for suspecting he is a zombie because they are racist.
The rest of the sketches were Shark Tank, a Z-shirt commercial, a recording for Dove Chocolate, and 360 News. Shark Tank involved Hart pitching the idea of a lamp with sunglasses to a board of business men and women. Vanessa Bayer joined Hart in the Dove Chocolate sketch, where Hart screams his lines. In the sketch, the Dove Chocolate advertisers can’t seem to decide which voice to go with for their commercial, Patricia’s (Bayer) soft voice or Dante’s (Hart) powerful version. The Z-shirt commercial also included some screaming from Hart. He goes through the whole alphabet trying to guess the letter that comes before the word shirt. His character reappears in another sketch, where his companion in the advertisement is at his mother’s funeral. Hart continues to guess letters and finally ends with ‘Z.’ The last sketch of the night was 360 News. Hart wears a neck brace and plays a news anchor that delivers the news by spinning around in a chair to quickly face eight cameras. All the camera people complain about it being the worst show idea ever and Hart’s character suffers with and without the help of the neck brace.
Overall, Hart was one of the weaker hosts of the season. All of his sketches never seemed to match his energy. Hart’s best sketch was The Walking Dead parody, but every other sketch seemed to fizzle to a boring conclusion. I guess it would be hard to for any one to deliver well as a host in between Christoph Waltz and highly-anticipated host Justin Timberlake. Did you watch Hart host SNL this week? What did you think of this week’s episode?