Drake pulled double duty as host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live last night, in the first new episode of 2014. And despite this being his first time on the show, he was a completely natural fit, whether he was sporting a dad mustache, reliving his Bar Mitzvah, spoofing Lil Wayne, or LARPing. Of course, it would have been nice if the writing on the episode around him was even half as good.
Because as great as Drake was, this was a pretty rough episode. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular was a one-note joke that wasn't funny from the start; Nancy Grace Live suffered from awkward timing; and digital short I Know was very disappointing compared to the other end-of-show videos Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett have done this season. Vanessa Bayer's Poetry Teacher made a return this week that, despite Aidy Bryant's invocation of Doritos, was completely forgettable. And worst of all, almost all these sketches went on a minute or two longer than should have.
One exception to that last bit: Resolution Revolution, one of the best sketches of the night, deserved another verse or two. If this were Mr. Show, the epic LARPing at the end could have been spun off into its own skit. This was also our introduction to Sasheer Zamata, the new female black featured player on the show. She popped up several times throughout the night in solid supporting roles, and fit in seamlessly with the cast.
Other highlights included Kate McKinnon as Justin Bieber in the Piers Morgan cold open (another one of those throw-a-bunch-of-current-news-stories-at-the-wall talk shows), Bryant's incredible sexual appetite in the Sleepover sketch (overall, the sketch didn't work, but that's no mark on Bryant's performance), and the Hip Hop Classics: Before They Were Stars celebrity-impressions-athon. Drake was exuberant in the monologue and pulled off a nice curveball by flashing back to his Bar Mitzvah.
There was also the return of Mornin' Miami, one of the best sketches from the first half of the season. It wasn't quite as "bitch fantastic" this time, but still was one of the fingerblasting highlights of the evening.
Click through for all those sketches, plus Jacqueline Bisset and Arianna Huffington on Weekend Update, and musical performances from Drake. Jonah Hill will be the host next week, with musical guest Bastille. Hopefully Drake will get another hosting nod next season, and that episode's writing will be worthy of his Drakeness.