Chance The Rapper is an undeniable multi-hyphenate: rapper, performer, Doritos salesman, activist, wife guy, Chicagoist owner, and so much more. Lukewarm reviews for his recent album The Big Day haven't dampened his undeniable charms one bit. He returned to Studio 8H this weekend to pull double duty as host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live, and nailed it: his comedic timing was precise and infectious, his singing and dancing were on point, and he had a great time swinging wildly through the air on wires. Hell, he even introduced himself for his first musical performance. He's basically a perfect SNL host, and it showed in this very solid episode.
Chance hit a sweet spot immediately in the Monologue, in which he wore a red Chicago Teachers Union shirt in support of striking teachers, and jumped into a musical ode to the “Second City” and all the other second-best things (including his recently-born second daughter) in honor of his second time hosting.
The best sketch of the night featured Chance as MSG network sports reporter Lazlo Holmes, who was a breakout character from his previous time hosting. Except instead of Holmes trying to make sense of hockey, this time he has to become an E-Sports Reporter. Not that he's any less perplexed by the sport and all the groupies.
Of the few Halloween-themed sketches, the best was Spooky Song, in which ghosts in a graveyard (Chance, Kenan Thompson, Beck Bennett, Mikey Day, Aidy Bryant) sing about how they died. Except Chance's ghost is very reluctant to get into all that. Due to his reticence, there's a great buildup to a very funny climax in a sketch that hinged wholly upon Chance's fantastic comic timing.
There are a ton of talented people who work tirelessly behind-the-scenes to make SNL hum every week. But every once in awhile, despite all good intentions, everything goes completely haywire during a sketch—and that's what happened during Love At First Sight, in which Cecily Strong falls in love with Chance's mysterious man and the two start floating in the air. And then they start smashing everything. If you love silly physical comedy, this was a pretty good one.
The best pre-taped sketch of the night was the commercial for Tasty Toaster Tarts, which wastes no time getting to a dark and twisted turn.
Every time he gives an interview, Kenan Thompson seems to go out of his way to reassure fans that he isn't planning on leaving SNL anytime soon. But now in his 17th season on the show, we have to take every opportunity we can to appreciate how great he is at what he does. A perfect example of that came in the 10-to-1 sketch Dance Rehearsal, which is worth watching just for the way Thompson says "the moon!"
Was it a coincidence that there was an ad for Ronald Moore’s upcoming Apple+ space show For All Mankind immediately after the sketch Space Mistakes perfectly parodied every cliche of the genre? Or has SNL's branded content just gotten sneakier? Either way, there's no arguing that making a mistake in space would be pretty bad.
Check out the rest of the sketches below: Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon have fun promoting a choir clothing rental service in Choir Fashion; Jason Momoa makes a surprise appearance to show off his nipple rings in Judge Barry; a cut-for-time '80s Drug PSA; and the Trump Rally Cold Open, which wasn't very good, but at least featured guest appearances from Darrell Hammond and Fred Armisen.
For the second time this season, we had a notably short Weekend Update, with only one guest segment. It featured Eric (Alex Moffatt) and Donald Trump Jr. (Mikey Day), who have become reliably fun recurring characters with almost no resemblance to the real Trump boys at this point.
Chance performed "Zanies and Fools" (without Nicki Minaj, who appears on the album version) and "Handsome" (with the incredible Megan Thee Stallion).
Kristen Stewart (who cursed during the monologue the last time she hosted) will host next weekend's episode with musical guest Coldplay.