Dave Chappelle had perhaps one of the hardest SNL gigs in recent memory, to follow the still-stunning upset of Election Night with humor. His monologue in particular set a tone for soldiering onward, for which Chappelle now offers new insight into the SNL writers’ room that week, and the advice Louis C.K. gave him.
When the 2016 Oscar nominations were announced nearly two weeks ago, the response to the overwhelmingly white line-up of talent proved instantly controversial. Film fans and industry veterans alike gathered around the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag to make their voices heard, especially decrying how films starring black actors and directed by black filmmakers — like Creed and Straight Outta Compton — somehow managed to only receive nominations for the white people involved in making them. With material this ripe, of course SNL was going to take a swipe at the Academy Awards this week.
Last night’s generally unremarkable episode of SNL peaked early when it took advantage of its proximity to Mother’s Day to do something kind of remarkable. As part of her opening monologue, guest host Reese Witherspoon declared that the show was going to mark the occasion by bringing each cast member out with his or her mother...and then forcing them to apologize for their childhood transgressions.
When the SNL writers decided to craft a sketch mocking the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, they had no idea that the “fight of the century” would turn out to be a huge bust that would leave sports fans enraged. This adds a level of meta-humor to an already funny sketch. In many ways, SNL’s very silly take on this fight is significantly more interesting than the real thing.
Taraji P. Henson is only the eighth black woman to host SNL in 40 years, which is only half the reason why her appearance on the show is awesome — in addition to her killer role as Cookie on Empire, Henson is a versatile actress who’s been impressing us for some time now. That versatility certainly came in handy as this week’s guest host, although the writers never really figured out how to use Henson’s strengths. Read on as we rank this week’s SNL sketches from great to not-so-great.
At some point in the SNL writer’s room, everyone must have realized that guest host Taraji P. Henson plays a monstrous character named Cookie on the smash hit Empire and, a few Cookie Monster jokes later, they were scrambling to call the producers of Sesame Street. Yes, SNL put Henson’s Cookie on the world’s most famous children’s program and the results are kind of spectacular.
In the cutthroat world of HBO’s Game of Thrones, life is hard and even the most innocent people find themselves victimized by the powers that be. So of course SNL would make the comparison between living in Westeros and living on the means streets of Los Angeles. Yes, it’s time to visit the eighth kingdom of this wildly popular fantasy series: South Centros.