Melissa McCarthy was host of Saturday Night Live and Kanye West marked his sixth time as musical guest and the hype over his new album ‘The Life of Pablo’ quite possibly overshadowed the host. It was a night of politics and surprises and now the TV critics are weighing in. You can see a roundup of reviews and video highlights right here!
Yes, no doubt Kanye West’s new album, ‘The Life of Pablo’ which had its extravagant premiere at his ‘Yeezy Season 3′ fashion show at Madison Square Garden was a reason for viewers to tune in to SNL. But nonetheless he wasn’t the host! That was Melissa McCarthy marking her fourth time as host and spoofing that with a monologue which saw her singing she was a member of the famed Five Timers Club, and getting interrupted by Kenan Thompson who informs her it’s only the fourth time around. He goes on to explain that her hosting the SNL40 anniversary show only counts as one-sixteenth of a hosting stint. Ah, who knew?!
This being the Presidential election year, our cold open was, indeed a political one with Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton facing the dilemma that her real-life counterpart is facing; supporters of her contender Sen. Bernie Sanders, who appeared on the show last week alongside his impersonator-host Larry David — are far more passionate and enthusiastic not to mention showing up at the polls and voting for him, giving him a victory in the New Hampshire primary. She serenades a few of her lukewarm supporters with a rendition of ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me,’ which pretty much sums up the state of her candidacy.
SNL also delivered a pointed and delightfully uncomfortable skit, ‘The Day Beyonce Turned Black,’ a fake movie trailer spoofing both the superstar’s Super Bowl 50 performance and Black Lives Matter protest — which has, naturally, sparked discussion and controversy — as well her the late-in-career recognition of African-American heritage. Some have called it opportunist and commercially driven. The skit does underscore that there’s a shift with her new song ‘Formation’ and in the skit there’s literal panic in the streets summed up by cast member Vanessa Bayer shrieking, ‘We have to go. We have to leave America. Beyonce is black!’
And along the way, yes, Kanye West did deliver, especially in the TV premiere of ‘High Beam Light’ from his ‘T.L.O.P.’ album which saw impressive staging and appearances from some of his impressive guest artists including gospel music star Kirk Franklin as well as Chance The Rapper, The-Dream, and Kelly Price. He also turned up in a skit, a rap battle with cast member Kyle Mooney.
Quite a night. Between Kanye West and politics and, oh, yes, Melissa MCarthy getting closer to Five Timers Club status. Here’s a roundup of what the critics are saying.
“…. In fact, this might be a sleeper at the end of the year for one of the sneakiest episodes of the season as far as being funny. It wasn’t as uproarious as the Adam Driver or Larry David show, but McCarthy played her hand well and gave us all a great night of thought provoking sketches. SNL went hard against guns earlier in the season — a much appreciated surprise — and went hard against race this weekend……” — Fansided
“…..Testament to the fact that none of the live McCarthy material was the strongest, the two filmed pieced tonight tie for the top spot. The Kyle Mooney-Kanye rap battle film was pitch-perfect, the somberly confessional opening about Mooney’s lifelong quest to be a rapper sounding precisely like the beginning of an especially inspiring commercial for something, before Kanye responds to Mooney’s feeble freestyling with a full-throated recital of “I Miss The Old Kanye.” …..” — A.V. Club
“….In the end, we’d call this show a mixed bag. It did some things well, but there were other moments where, despite the efforts of all involved, the comedy fell a little flat. Grade: B…..” — CarterMatt
“….Thankfully, the Mike & Molly had several chances to deliver the LOLs over the subsequent 90 minutes, even if her absence from both digital shorts and all of “Weekend Update” left me scratching my head almost as hard as I did during Kanye West’s musical performances. ….” — TV Line
“…..All in all, this was a stellar episode, but the most groundbreaking stuff was probably from the musical guest, which shouldn’t be the case for a comedy show…..” — The Wrap
Yes, another episode has come and gone, to be talked about and replayed in viral video perpetuity! Watch highlights below from last night’s SNL with host Melissa McCarthy and musical guest Kanye West below!
‘Ultra Light Beam’
Pictures: PR Photos