Drake Hosts Saturday Night Live: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches!

Michael Slezak

You’d think it would be a privilege to host the first installment of Saturday Night Live in 2014. But thanks to a baffling array of setups — a square dad fending off a “teenage” girl’s slumber-party come-ons (yuck); the unwelcome return of “Mornin’ Miami” promos; Nasim Pedrad aimlessly stumbling around a Disneyland set saying “I am Rahat” — rapper/actor Drake might’ve wondered if he was instead suffering some cosmic punishment in his hosting debut.

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Not to say the erstwhile Degrassi High star didn’t try gamely — his impressions of Kat Williams, Jay Z and a horny high-school student were fairly amusing — but this was yet another instance of the show’s writers not giving the host a lot with which to work.

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Below, my picks for the week’s Best and Worst:

Taran Killam, Drake and Jay Pharoah — with backing support from cast newcomer Sasheer Zamata — rapped about the frailty of new year’s resolutions in the face of temptation. Killam’s donut frenzy and Drake’s drunk-guy antics, though, were merely appetizers for Pharoah’s raucous sex with a blowup doll. And for dessert? Cosplay, of course! Good stuff.

While barely uttering a word, Vanessa Bayer — marooned in the balcony seats — hilariously skewerd the Golden Globe winner for Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Miniseries or Movie, gasping, mauling audience members and even combing her hair to guffaw-inducing effect.

Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney starred in an oddly meditative piece as a long-suffering friend and his know-it-all buddy. A few of Mooney’s retorts were mumbled to the point of inaudibility, but the whole thing was nevertheless bizarrely compelling. I’m still not sure why I laughed at this urinal exchange — “Mine’s a little bit bigger than yours.” “I know — ’cause I actually like mine a little bit smaller.” — but laugh I did.

An inconsistent segment at best (Kenan Thompson pretending a cat lives in Sway’s trademark hat was as lame as it gets), but Rick Ross as the original red Teletubby and Eminem shouting his way through a whispery episode of Felicity were pretty tasty bits.

Nasim Pedrad played a foreign-born girl named Rahat chosen to play the role of Indiana Jones in a theme-park adventure show. Maybe this would’ve scored some laughs had Pedrad developed the character beyond blank stares and a catchphrase? As Drake’s theme-park employee barked, “I’d love to know what’s going on in Rahat’s head!” I wondered the same — about Pedrad and the show’s writing staff.

I love Taran Killam, but his twist on the CNN host is nothing more than a high-pitched British accent, and rarely results in a joke that doesn’t wind up getting shaper-eyed treatment on Weekend Update. Yeah, Kate McKinnon’s Bieber posturing was pretty spot-on, but that should’ve been spun off as a separate/funnier entity.

Your turn! What did you think of Drake as SNL host? Grade the episode in the poll below, then sound off in the comments!

Drake Hosts Saturday Night Live: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches!
Drake Hosts Saturday Night Live: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches!

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