Kevin Hart appeared on SNL this past Saturday. In a holiday episode just nine days before Christmas, the popular stand-up comedian took his stab at some sketch comedy. The episode mostly falls flat, but was saved by a few funny moments. The laughs mostly came from the Weekend Update team, with a few chuckles from the sketches, which didn’t seem to be able get up off the ground the whole night.
The episode began with a cold opening featuring Alec Baldwin in his reoccurring part as Donald Trump. The sketch featured a surprise appearance from Scarlet Johannsson as Trump’s daughter, and was generally mildly entertaining. There were appearances by all the political characters you’d expect, including a distraught Omarosa banging at the window. All in all, it could of been better.
“Office Phone Call” was the funniest skit of the night. During a routine meeting after lunch, Kevin Hart takes a call for a family emergency. But just when he’s ready to dash out of the office to take care of the family issue, his coworkers tell him it’s okay to just go to the bathroom, and that he doesn’t need to fake an emergency to leave. Hart shows his talent for a wide array of facial expressions during the skit, which gets a few laughs out of just watching him suffer.
The episode covered a lot of ground this week. They addressed the problems of a black superhero stopped by the cops, the struggles of an aging host of a fitness show that PBS brings back onto television, and an extremely awkward nativity play that features a particularly memorable llama.
“Inside the NBA” wasn’t bad. In the skit Hart played legendary basketball player Shaq, who says the strangest things while the rest of the commentators attempt to talk about basketball. Charles Barkley, played By Keenan Thompson, makes fun of Shaq the whole time. Although it’s a bit mean, the sketch is one of the more entertaining of the night.
Weekend Update, one of the longest traditions in the Saturday Night Live canon, continued to be fairly solid with hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che. Although the jokes tended to be dirty, getting some cheap laughs in the process, the hosts’ self-awareness of their own silliness redeemed it a little bit. The “Guy Who Just Bought A Boat” goes a little far with his raunchy advice for dating around Christmas, and could have been a little shorter.
While announcing the news, the Weekend Update hosts took predictable stabs at the unending circus of political events, but the jokes were mostly well placed and poignant. Not surprisingly, the crowd cheered when they announced Roy Moore losing to Democrat Doug Jones in the Alabama senate race. They also mentioned the White House debacle with Omarosa and the hilarity of Trump’s latest tweets.
Foo Fighters performed as the musical guest on the program. Dressed in Christmas sweaters and surrounded by the lit up wreaths of the SNL stage, the band performed an awkward, slightly entertaining Christmas medley ending with some furiously over the top drums and Christmas cheer.
Although not the best of the season, the episode was still entertaining at times. Saturday Night Live returns after Christmas break on January 13th.