This week on Saturday Night Live Chance the Rapper hosted the show, and after a cringingly bad monologue made a giant comeback in sketches and digital shorts. The monologue had the Rapper offering up a brand new Thanksgiving song, but not something fun, memorable and sharable like Adam Sandler’s Thanksgiving day Turkey song. This was instantly forgettable as a song, and unforgettable as a monologue gone wrong. But Chance picked it up from there and delivered strong performance after performance in the sketches and shorts, playing a kid from the projects with an important question for Bruce Wayne, an R&B singer who really misses Barack Obama, Steve Harveys illegitimate son, and a Knicks correspondent forced to cover a hockey game– all strong, funny sketches. He also landed roles in a few clunkers at the end of the show but most of his roles were show highlights.
This week’s Cold Open involving Donald Trump’s sons Eric and Don Jr. meeting Julian Assange was funny but didn’t exactly feel timely. This sketch could have appeared at any time this season. Weekend Update was incredibly timely, diving right in to the latest sexual harassment allegations, which this week involved Al Franken and Jeremy Piven among others. Jost kicked things off pointing out that there’s a lot to be thankful this year at Thanksgiving…”unless you’re a human woman.” If SNL was gunshy to cover sexual misconduct allegations early on, they are making up for it now- last week going after SNL frequent host Louis C.K. and this week taking on former castmember Al Franken. Senator Al Franken is being accused of sexual misconduct, groping a model and sportscaster Leeann Tweeden in 2006 while she was asleep. I know this photo looks bad,” Jost said, “but remember, it also is bad.” He added, “and sure, this photo was taken before Franken ran for public office, but it was also taken after he was a sophomore in high school.” It may be coincidence but Jost seems to be taking the lead on jokes about entertainers in trouble for sexual misconduct. Che delivered some commentary about Ray Moore, and then Colin grabbed the stick again to comment on accusations against Jeremy Piven.
With the exception of the last two sketches of the night (which is fine, because that’s why they’re the last two sketches of the night) most of Saturday’s episode was strong. Our top five sketches included a black neighborhood’s take on Batman– somebody got to do something about him; a music video from DeVonTre, an R&B group singing a wistful song to a strong and intelligent lost love– Barack Obama; another musical trio, the Soul Crush Crew gives rapper Lil DooDoo a lesson in rap history; and a very special edition of Celebrity Family Feud rounds out our top 5, if only to see Michael Che in a rare sketch appearance, momentarily playing Steve Harvey’s nephew Andrew. You can watch all 5 sketches below.
SNL is going on Thanksgiving break but they’ll be back December 2nd with host Saoirse Ronan and musical guest U2.