SNL Viewers Club: Kevin Hart with Sia

Laser Time, SNL, Saturday Night Live, Viewer's Club, Sia, Kevin Hart, episode, review, Season 40

Kevin Hart, the most energetic comedian out there, returns to host SNL for a second time. Get on up, for the second half of the season!

Say what you will about his standup, but of all the comedians I’ve seen, Hart is a fountain of energy, committing to every bit no matter how the audience feels. As readers of this column know, the host can make or break an episode: this week, Hart made it. And then there’s Sia on the musical side of things. If you’re not familiar, she shot a video of a kid doing an amazing dance, then another of Shia LaBeouf being creepy.

So let’s break this down. People like numbered scores, so I’ve chosen to rate every sketch at 0, 1/2, or 1 point. A sketch not worth watching at all receives a 0, a sketch that doesn’t stand out but didn’t totally flop gets a 1/2, and a sketch that does its job of entertaining and delivering a few laughs will earn 1 point. A standout sketch that goes above and beyond will receive the normal point plus 1 bonus point. Cool? Cool. Let’s talk about it!

Air Date: 1/17/15

Host: Kevin Hart

Musical Guest: Sia

MLK Cold Open

Is it fair to call the show out for another political opener when the politics are historical? Either way, I appreciate the subversion of Martin Luther King, Jr. critiquing current social “progress.” Unfortunately, the sketch was brought down a bit by Keenan Thompson’s typical “impression.” 1/2 point

Monologue

Much like Chris Rock’s hosting gig a few months back, this sounded like Hart trying out new material. That’s not a bad thing, though — the man is funny. And thank you, SNL, for letting a comedian do his thing instead of writing up uninspired Q&A or a big band tune. 1 point

Calvin Klein Ads

While Justin Bieber’s real world ads were certainly making headlines, this sketch did little to avoid the same levels of obnoxiousness. We get it, the kid’s a wimp. Nothing special here. 1/2 point

Why’d You Post That

Yep, people on social media suck. We’ve all seen the unexplained Instagram pictures or banal Facebook statuses. This was a good take on the whole thing. 1 point

Bushwick, Brooklyn 2015

Most SNL sketches don’t require a ton of prior knowledge, but in this case, it’s important to know that “Bushwick is a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in Brooklyn.” (Thanks, Wikipedia!) Still, the cutaways were pretty funny. 1 point

Get On Up

This was hands down my favorite sketch of the night, but it’s hard to put my finger on why. Maybe it’s the brief, repeating guitar chord. Maybe it’s the look on the horn section’s faces. Maybe it’s the idea of this conversation actually happening in the middle of a concert. All I can say for sure is that it had me laughing the whole time. Great James Brown from Hart too. 1 point + bonus point

Soap Opera Reunion

And immediately after my favorite sketch was this slightly confusing one. Hart’s “limited English” was funny, but I feel like I missed the point. The “dumpy” music just didn’t do it for me, I guess. 1/2 point

Weekend Update

It’s always tough to get back in stride after a break, but Colin Jost and Michael Che still delivered some good jokes. Kate McKinnon’s Mrs. Santini got a few chuckles out of me, as it’s a pretty accurate portrayal of every landlady I’ve ever had. 1 point

The Journey

This pattern of awful post-Update sketches has to stop. This one had really slow start (and went too long), with very little payoff from Hart’s predictable punch lines. It couldn’t even be saved by fan favorite Leslie Jones. 0 points

Kevin’s Son

I feel like we haven’t seen a “Jay Pharoah impression” sketch in a while. And though his Kevin Hart wasn’t perfect, the mannerisms and cadence were on point. A bummer the ending was so weak, but at least the sketch stayed entertaining and energetic. 1 point

Listening Party

They change it a little bit every time, but the “revealing inner secrets during a song” bit has been done to death on SNL. This one went on too long, but Kevin’s energy and a few decent lines managed to save it from being a total bomb. 1/2 point

Total: 9/11 possible points

A few missteps couldn’t stop this from being a solid episode. Kevin Hart made most of the sketches and even saved a few. For the first post-break episode, I’m very satisfied. Let’s see how the second half of the season goes.

3 thoughts on “SNL Viewers Club: Kevin Hart with Sia

  1. If you want more of Mrs. Santini (albeit under a different name), go ahead and give the Nick Offerman episode of Comedy Bang Bang a watch.

  2. The episode was good, albiet a little rough around the edges (and apparently worse during the live show where the monitor for the instagram skit didn’t work for a minute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bCgBdkX9jg). Hart’s monologue was hilarious, Kate McKinnon’s Bieber impression made those skits great, and as everyone else has said, Get On Up was one of the year’s best sketches. I had a soft spot for the Soap Opera Reunion, largely because of Taran Killam’s performance of pompous actor and the fact that songs with farts in them make me laugh.

    The post-Update stuff was really hit or miss – I kinda enjoyed “The Journey” and “Kevin’s Son,” but not nearly as much as the first half stuff. I’d give this episode a B.

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