The Best and Worst Sketches of “Saturday Night Live!”

Don Cheadle hosted the Feb. 16 edition of SNL, with Gary Clark Jr. as the musical guest.

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The Best and Worst Sketches of “Saturday Night Live!”

(Screenshot by Meghan Cerney/Amherst Wire)

(Screenshot by Meghan Cerney/Amherst Wire)

(Screenshot by Meghan Cerney/Amherst Wire)

(Screenshot by Meghan Cerney/Amherst Wire)

Meghan Carney, Writer

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On Saturday night, Don Cheadle proudly announced in 30 Rockefeller Center that he entered the “Avengers host SNL raffle” and won. Cheadle, who is known for playing War Machine/ James Rhodes in the Marvel Universe, will reprise his role in “Avengers: Endgame,” as a survivor of Thanos’ destructive snap. His monologue was brief and predictable as he told jokes about New Yorkers, had a skit with cast member Leslie Jones, referenced past roles including “Hotel Rwanda” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” and introduced musical guest, Gary Clark Jr. Often times, hosts fall into the background or act as props for cast members to play their jokes off of; however, Cheadle proved that he came to commit, and came to the forefront of a majority of the sketches. Many hit, but a few missed: Here are the best and worst sketches that “Saturday Night Live!” had to offer.

The Best:

Roach-Ex

Cheadle and cast member Kyle Mooney play cockroaches, playing into the commercial pitch that audiences have seen thousands of times, with the personification of roaches as annoying house guests bothering the family. SNL takes this trope to the next level, playing out dramatic scenes of the cockroach seducing the protagonists wife, eventually leading to a tense confrontation where Cheadle is killed with a bottle of Roach-Ex.  Cheadle’s cockroach death scene is absurd and funny, and he plays the antagonist as though it is a real movie, not just a commercial dupe. His commitment to a fake commercial is impressive and worthy of each laugh that it got. It would have been easy for Cheadle to back off and allow his co-star Mooney, who is known for his quirky awkward humor, to get all the laughs, but he takes center stage in the fake ad.

Bar Fight

Cut to a biker bar full of macho men, Cheadle makes Beck Bennett’s character spill his whiskey, leading to a fight between the two. Suddenly, Mika’s 2007 pop song “Lollipop” comes on the jukebox. The men comically transition from defending their over the top masculinity to saying “How much longer is left in this song? And also what’s it called and who sings it?” The sketch eventually turns into a full on choreographed dance involving everyone in the bar, finishing with ribbon twirling and confetti.

Jules

Michael Che and Colin Jost double as head writers and Weekend Update hosts, and have found their groove making them a highlight of every show. A fairly new, but incredibly popular guest is Jules, played by Beck Bennett. This insufferable character delivers lines such as “Open on a baby laughing, he knows nothing yet he knows more than we ever will.” Beck Bennett is a powerhouse of the current cast and devotes himself to being completely ridiculous for this character, which pays off in laughs from the audience. No matter how much viewers hate this misguided white guy trying to be deep, they can’t help but laugh at his absurdity and stupidity, as well as the back and forth between Jules and Colin Jost, taking none of his ignorance.

The Worst:

Celebrity Family Feud

Normally, Celebrity Family Feud is a hit for “Saturday Night Live!” giving cast members a chance to showcase their impressions and gifting the audience with Kenan Thompson Steve Harvey. However, this weeks Oscar nominee themed round felt like an obligatory nod to the upcoming Academy Awards, without many viable impressions among the cast. Melissa Villaseñor’s Lady Gaga and Kate McKinnon’s Glenn Close steal the show, but Kyle Mooney as Bradley Cooper? Pete Davidson as Rami Malek? I want them to be good but those are not the roles for them.

Extreme Baking Championships

A food network spoof fell flat, with each character making an awful cake, while Heidi Gardener’s was clearly the best, but not getting the attention it deserved. Kyle Mooney was set up for a funny one liner towards the end; however, the premise of the sketch seemed to be grotesque looking cakes getting a laugh. It was not much more than a time filler with an attempt at physical comedy via Don Cheadle’s come to life vomiting cookie monster cake.

As a whole, SNL provided an entertaining show. The bad sketches did not bomb so hard that they took anything away from the good ones, and the show was also full of its signature political satire, including Alec Baldwin’s Trump impression, as well as Kate McKinnon’s Pelosi. Cheadle hosted a well-rounded episode that hit all the marks, with few slip ups, none of which were fatal to the show.

Email Meghan at [email protected] or Follow her on Twitter @meghan_carney_.

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