SNL Viewers Club: Drake

episode, Drake, nbc, review, saturday night live, Season 41, snl, SNL Viewers Club

Chart-topping, Degrassi-attending Drake pulled double duty on Saturday Night Live this time around. Did he make Canada proud?

Drake doesn’t really need an introduction, so I won’t bother with one. But he does have a new album out called Waves, and that’s why he’s hosting. Let’s get to it!

Donald Trump/Chris Christie Cold Open

Darrell Hammond’s Donald Trump is always great, and I love Bobby Moynihan’s Chris Christie… but man, this cold open was a whole lot of nothin’. The Ben Carson punch line didn’t make it worth it either.

Monologue

OK, I’m torn here. Musical monologues are a cop-out, but when you have a best-selling singer on, you kind of have to do one. Meme humor is one of the lowest forms of comedy (and should be beneath SNL), but this monologue capitalized on a very real trend caused by Drake’s work. I guess I have to call it even?

Rental Car

Maybe it was a bit stereotypical, but Drake killed it in this one. Jay Pharoah was fantastic too, even if he lost the voice toward the end of the sketch. Only negative is that it maybe went a tad too long.

American Ninja Warrior

This sketch started strong, with a perfect sap story. But the punch line was pretty clear from the start — both of times it happened. At least the peeing in the water and pants falling off were good sight gags.

Dennis Walls & the Cookies

So, Leslie Jones and Kyle Mooney make for a really funny hosting duo; save that one for later, SNL. As for the bulk of the sketch, the mic, saxophone, and bed were all pretty decent gags, and Drake and his “cookies” certainly played their roles well.

Office Boss with Drake

We haven’t seen Beck Bennett’s baby character in a while, and the idea of pairing him with real-life politician (well, Taran Killam as) Paul Ryan is intriguing. Gotta love the subtext of a baby being the second-best choice behind Trump too. A good outing for the recurring character.

Weekend Update

Colin Jost and Michael Che’s jokes got better as Update progressed; the lines between Leslie Jones and Jay Pharoah were gold. But before that, we got some of Kate McKinnon’s Olya Povlatsky, who normally does nothing new. But this time, the bit centered on Trump’s bro-mance with Russa’s Vladimir Putin, and that was exactly the spin that character needed this time around. Leslie Jones did some of her usual stuff, and while it wasn’t her funniest material this time around, it was full genuinely good life advice and observations. Jay Pharoah returned to the desk for another impression parade. His take on black comedians was better than this week’s list of rappers, but he’s still a darn good impressionist. A good Update overall.

Black Jeopardy with Drake

This recurring sketch will never be better than when it debuted with Louis CK, but there were some great lines this time around (Kenan’s “100 problems” was gold). The black Canadian premise was a good one too. A solid post-Update sketch.

Drake’s Beef

Drake’s disproportionate reactions were pretty solid here — gotta love that Josh Gad obsession too. The finger guns were probably the highlight though.

Chaperone

I don’t know who this half-Hulk Hogan guy is, but I like him. His stories are funny, and his future self showing up makes for a good twist. Closers need this weirdness.

Grade: B

A pretty good outing from Canada’s most successful rapper. There’s just one more episode to go this season, so we’ll see if Fred Armisen can send us off with a bang.

SNL is wrapping up soon, but Tony will still have plenty to do around here. Follow him on Twitter to keep up!

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