• Annie and Alison

SNL Catch-Up: Chance the Rapper through Kevin Hart

We've come to the point of this blog's life when THE TRUTH IS OUT: we aren't the most self-disciplined ladies out there. So, we're really behind in SNL! Whoops!

So behind, in fact, that we had to talk about like four episodes in one go. Here's an edited transcript of a long-ass phone call we had to discuss these episodes, as well as some other things! (Maybe someday we'll be on Patreon and the original, unedited audio will be a patron gift...you can hear all the behind-the scenes shit we talk. Juicy!)

Meat: Alright SOOOO anyway, now you've seen *that* [we watched Tucci Gang to kick off, obvi]... the last one we talked about...WAS Tiffany Haddish.

Al: Correct.

Meat: So we have to talk about Chance the Rapper, Saoirse Ronan, James Franco (problematicccc!) and Kevin Hart.

Al: OH that many episodes?

Meat: Yeah, and so let's just say, from memory, what sticks out?

Al: Oh ok, I was just going to look up some recaps of those episodes to jog my memory but let's do that, see what comes up just from memory. The first one was... Chance!

Meat: Chance the Rapper, hands down, it's {the best sketch is} the—

Al: Come Back Barack

M: Hockey announcer...What?

Al: Oh! Wait...

M: What did you say?

Al: I said Come Back Barack!

M: Oh ok. Haaaaha. But yeah oh man I did watch Come Back Barack, recently.

Al: When I was home for the holidays, that was the one sketch that I was like, I HAVE to show this to my parents, and they loooved it. My mom also told me how much she loves Aidy Bryant's Sarah Huckabee Sanders so I showed her "Confident" and she died. We actually ended up having a sketch comedy night, basically. All four of us were sitting on the couch in a row, and I had a computer on my lap and it started with Key & Peele, the anger translator, and then we watched their post-game one, where he's like "you can do anything, you can jump real high and touch the moon!" - my family loved that one. Then we got into some weirder territory, with Kroll Show/Ghost Bouncers and stuff, and my dad though those were funny but not everyone else did. And gigolo house, [laughs].

M: Ok so your pick for Chance the Rapper is Come Back Barack, perfectly respectable, hilarious. The one that sticks out for me is "Sports Announcer." Just cause I think the concept is really niche, it's one of those things where it's like definitely a stereotype, yet it was still very believable.

Al: Yeah it's not untrue - it's a very white sport.

M: And it, the way he ...ugh, [Chance] is just so cute in it.

Al: He is SO, so charismatic. He just oozes charisma. One of the SNL moments that I go back and watch the most is his first musical guest performance.

M: Aaaw.

Al: He did "Sunday Candy" and "Somewhere in Paradise" and there's a line where he says "my teacher said I would never rap on that show, then I rapped on that show, simple as that." But he changed the lyrics to say "my teacher said I would never rap on THIS show, then I rapped on this show" and he was just smiling—he was clearly freaking out, it was so great. It made me cry.

M: I'm thinking about that episode more now, because I think I watched that episode twice, because I did go back to do some tallying. There actually are, i mean - you know I love Family Feud, anytime Kenan is a game show host, I'm there. So where he was Steve Harvey's love child, that was hilarious.

Al: That was so funny!

M:...Just thinking about it. [laughs]

Al: Anytime they use a game show set up but do something with it beyond just playing the game (since that's pretty tired), it's so enjoyable.

M: Uh, and then there was...Oh! The porn one! They've done this a couple times, where Aidy is a little girl who like ruins a porn shoot,

Al: Yeah

M: Cause she actually thinks—

{Delete? Al: Was it Aidy again?

M: Yeah it was Aidy. Heidi was the porn actress.

Al: Oh yeah I thought it was Heidi. Ok.}

M: But she's done that a couple times, where she actually thinks it's her teacher or her babysitter or something, but it's the middle of a porn shoot.

Al: Totally, yes.

M: Just [Chance's] outfit and everything, cracks me up in that one. And all the sausage puns - Heidi was funny.

Al: She was funny. I want to see more of her so badly. I feel like we still haven't seen the scope of her talent.

M: I agree. Cause that one where she was addicted to straws, which is SO nonsensical.

Al: Yes! Her commitment to that was FULL. It was so good. Oh and this is skipping ahead an episode, but I just remembered how good she was in the Floribama Shore sketch.

M: Oh yeah...was that the Saoirse Ronan episode? Should we talk about that episode?

Al: Yeah

M: I feel like, that plane - that thing on the plane, was weird.

Al: That was weird! It was all these Irish stereotypes, but on a plane.

M: But are they stereotypes?? Like, i've never heard, do Irish people love dogs?

Al: I don't know! I feel like stereotypes have such a negative connotation and it wasn't negative stuff, so I guess it was just a bunch of dogs around?

M: It was so strange to me.

Al: It was strange but she is also so charming that I enjoyed it just because it was so clear that she was enjoying herself.

M: Yeah she was cute.

Al: What others... there was the one where Beck and Kyle were racing? It was a pre-tape.

M: Oh yes! Hold on. I think I wrote down some notes here.

Al: And the Floribama one, which I loved. I think in large part just because she was playing someone SO different from what we've seen from her before. And the fact that Chris Redd was the one person who was like, "There's a fucking hurricane, we need to get out of here!"

M: Hahaha, yes! You know, Chris Redd, normally, ends up with a character who kind of kills me, a little bit.

Al: Yes! I also think that I just love it so much whenever Aidy gets to play someone trashy.

M: Yes. Absolutely.

Al: At the end of some MTV sketch they did a promo for the show that was next and they were like "Coming up next, Bitch House" and it was just a picture Aidy and Cecily with their boobs blurred out and that small thing still cracks me up. She also played a character in a Next sketch who got to say "and my bush goes allll the way around," and I—[cracks up]

M: oh my god

Al: I think Aidy is still woefully underutilized.

M: Ok so I'm looking at this recap, and it's going through all the sketches of this episode, which I TOTALLY forgot about a ton of these, but it says "Aidy Bryant appreciation moment: Return Counter."

Al: Oh yes, Return Counter!

M: Ok, I'm gonna watch this sketch because I don't remember any of it.

Al: [reading the episode recap] Wow there were so many good ones in this! Welcome to Hell, American Girl Store. Which was so funny! It was such a simple premise, but Mikey Day played it so well.

M: I'm telling you, I've been texting with Kate johnny about this, Mikey and Alex are really stealing my heart this season, I love them.

Al: Ok, Return Counter, here.

[Meat and Al proceed to watch Return Counter]

M: God, ok that was pretty frickin funny.

Al: That was one of the best sketches I've seen from them that's just jokes.

M: Oh man, alright so what about Mr. (erp!) James Franco.

Al: Oh yea let's see

M: So I just wanna go ahead and say that all I really want to talk about in this episode is SZA. Because I fucking love her. She was so good.

Al: I thought, ok... everything aside, he was good in this episode.

M: Yes. Yeah. Well, we already discussed the Wrapping Counter sketch.

Al: That one was so fun.

M: I am a huge fan of the excessive blood sketches, like that one with acupuncture. So when things just start bleeding, and inevitably something about the apparatus that they're using for the blood like goes wrong, so that cracked me up.

Al: Yes.

M: there's a part were he puts his leg up on the counter and the foot was accidentally already cut off...


M: Everything—they're just chaotic, hilarious sketches.

Al: It's like they literally say, "We're gonna press the start button on this sketch, and we're gonna give it four minutes of air time. And wherever you get to, you get to."

M: And they just get absolutely COVERED in blood.

Al: Let's see, the cold open was the visit with Santa, that was pretty funny.

M: That was weirdly sweet and good, I liked that one.

Al: I feel like in scrolling through the Saoirse Ronan one I was like "holy shit, almost every single one of these sketches is a slam dunk" This one I'm kind of feeling the opposite. I remember really enjoying it, but in scrolling through these I'm kind of like "that one wasn't my favorite, that one wasn't my favorite." ...But the sexual harassment sketch, the one that came after the monologue, I remember not liking as I was watching it.

M: Yeah, I don't remember much about it, except that what I did write down was "is this the exact same office, from the Halloween episode where Beck tells everyone they have Hep A?" It was all the same characters.

Al: Ohhh yeah.

M: It seemed like they were all playing the same people?

Al: It also reminded me of the other office sketch, although I guess this one came afterwards, where Kevin Hart shits his pants?

M: Oh god yeah, that one's actually really funny.

Al: Yeah, so, I'm looking at the Splitsider recap right now. [Reads description of Sexual Harassment sketch] It was kind of a weird one! Because Kenan's character would do genuinely creepy things....Then there was the gift wrap one which everyone loved. Then there was the "Scrudge" one, which I kind of enjoyed at the time? Because it was really bizarre character stuff, but it was not actually the most fun.

M: No, it wasn't. But after that, was the Iowa Public Radio Spelling bee, which I specifically remember---

Al: That was the little pig boy one.

M: Which I specifically remember texting you "Oh my god. Little pig boy!"

Al: And this one was made for James Franco, this kind of self-deprecating stuff works so well.

M: Yes. And the commentators, Alex and Melissa.

Al: And then the court sketch, "Za"?

M: Oh that one was good.

Al: That one I really enjoyed.

M: I wrote down "there are only like three words in this sketch." And somehow it's still funny.

Al: It seemed like a challenge sketch, right? Like if they dared each other to write a sketch with only three words or something. ... Christmas Charity, I don't really remember this one?

M: Cecily finds a homeless man and it's James Franco.

Al: Oh yeah, I remember. Did you think it was funny?

M: No

Al: Ok yeah I didn't think so either.

M: I did like that it sort of looked like it was starting out as a Lifetime movie, you know? Like business career woman! Doesn't have time! And then this homeless man opens her heart! And it's just James Franco.

Al: Totally.

M: So weekend update, we had an appearance of Cathy-Ann.

Al: Big fan of Cathy-Ann

M: Big fan of Cecily, in general, but Cathy-Ann is one of her greatest creations, I think. "I'm kind of a political junkie. And a regular junkie." And AND this is the episode where Michael Che is a white lady!

Al: THAT was funny. Also hilarious that Michael Che never dropped his Michael Che affect, he was his very flat Michael Che self the whole time.

M: As a bookseller easter egg, these are the books, that I have identified by their spines, that are behind them at the table when they're having dinner in this sketch. Ok it's: Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, the Girls by Emma Cline, the Nix by Nathan Hill—which is an amazing book—and one unidentifiable book which I was very frustrated by.

Al: That is so funny. Those are -

M: It's a very white liberal bookshelf.

Al: It's also a very Instagram "look at me read" bookshelf. And I'm dying a little because I've read all of them except Brief Wondrous Life, which I'm partway through.

M: Yep, yep. So there's that. What else? So I loved SZA, she was obviously doing it live because it wasn't exactly like the studio versions, it was just beautiful. Loved her outfits, loved her hair. I'm obsessed with her.

Al: I've listened to her album a little bit, but I've listened to it a lot more since her performance which is my favorite SNL things, when a musician comes on that you aren't that familiar with, and then you get really into them because of that appearance. Actually, that was—I listened to Chance before he was on the first time, but not very much, and that was the thing that got me digging for his music.

M: Aw, that's so nice! Well I'm, I'm so glad that you're listening to it more because for some reason that's all I listened to all summer, was SZA and related artists. Alright...the Franco family reunion was kind of lame.

Al: Yes.

M: Although I wrote down: Heidi is so convincing, I'm genuinely uncomfortable.

Al: Exactly. She was doing well, right? She was doing so good, and I wanted it to be with something that I was gonna have more fun watching than that. I was also genuinely uncomfortable. Also, just real quick: when you mentioned Cecily playing the classic "tight-ass" business woman, Emily Nussbaum tweeted, "Watching the Intern on a plane and it's the only rom-com ever where the competent boss lady is not a stumbling ditz who needs the D. So I don't care about any flaws, I love it."

M: Actually, yeah, I watched The Intern on a plane and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Al: Loved it. It was so fun!

M: I was surprisingly moved, as well. Like, I mean they're both [Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNiro] great actors so I guess I shouldn't be that surprised, but.

Al: I think the reason we're surprised is because it's such a simple premise, right? And there's no real complexity, but it was so fun.

M: Delightful!

Al: Delightful.

Kevin Hart is all we have left. I also want to just do a quick skim through all of Chance's sketches in case I'm forgetting an important one. Um. Oh! The Wayne manor food drive, that was pretty funny.

M: That was funny - yes - I liked that one. I thought that was clever.

Al: Yes yes. Oh, Kate came on as Jeff Sessions. Pete Davidson came on as himself.

M: That one cracks me up so much.

Al: Oh, rap history? That one...

M: Oh that one was kind of funny.

Al: It was fun, but I felt like it didn't live up to its potential.

M: But that IS where we get the origin, of Lil Pump, who does the Doodie Gang song, which then gives us "Tucci Gang."

Al: I missed that! Good work.

M: Yes, so he's like you know the up and coming guy who doesn't listen to old school rap or whatever. I'm also looking at my notes, so in that weekend update, of the Chance episode, we get "Bruce Chandling"- Kyle Mooney's "veteran stand-up" comedian.

Al: Yes

M: Makes me so sad, but I—

Al: Oh SO sad.

M: "Maize I have a second helping" oh god.

Al: Oh my god. Also sorry, I'm baffled because I'm not finding a recap for Kevin hart.

M: That's so weird! The thing I remember most about the Kevin Hart episode is the end where they're ice skating.

Al: The thing I remember most about the Kevin Hart episode is that it wasn't that funny.

M: Yeah.

Al: It felt like the first, maybe true flop of the season.

M: Yeah, and I think Kevin Hart's super funny. We texted about this - like WHY was his monologue so bad?

Al: Yeah.

M: It was a bad monologue, it was stupid.

Al: Yeah! Why are you doing this? What made you want to deliver this material right now?

M: How hard it is to be a parent? A new dad?

Al: A fun dad? There were just some weird ones about how the mom is just cooking, and that's her job? It was just...it put me off to the rest of the episode. Ok here's the Vulture [recap]. White House Tree trimming, ugh I'm so over all the White House ones, honestly.

M: They need to do different things for the cold open, like, donezo.

Al: Holiday Jewelry, the pandora one, was funny.

M: Oh, yeah.

Al: Oh and I - Office Phone Call, the one where he shits his pants. I fuckin loved it because I love people shitting themselves. He played it well.

M: Shit is always funny. He was good. I liked the dynamics of it in that it wasn't just like "oh, this guy's a pariah because he just shit his pants," they were genuinely trying to help him. They were like "Hey, you can TELL US that you're going to the bathroom." but then they go along with it, like "Oh, your grandma called." [laughs]

Al: And I just liked how much he played the walk out. he walked out like there was shit in his pants and I loved it.

A: He's a funny guy. I don't know, man.

Al: Captain Shadow and the Cardinal.

M: Where they get pulled over?

Al: Yeah, i mean I like seeing Chris Redd get to do this stuff but it wasn't, again, the jokes weren't—

M: It wasn't super.

Al: Inside the NBA, I mean that was funny because Kevin Hart stood up on stilts as Shaq, but again I mean I was probably not the audience for this.

M: Sometimes I wonder, I mean I don't watch inside the NBA that much. And I get, Shaq probably is not hte smartest person in the world.

Al: Yes, but that's been like a—

M: But, is he that dumb? Does he have brain damage?

Al: Shaq being this dumb has been a tentpole SNL joke for forever. Like, Jay Pharoah used to do Shaq, where were would like cross his eyes.

M: Yes! I remember that. And then I'm like, should I be worried about Shaq? Does he have CTE?

Al: I can't enjoy the sketch because now I'm just worried about Shaq!

M: I know! [laughs] I'm concerned. So someone should answer this question for us.

Al: Yeah they really should.

M: Is Shaq really that dumb? [laughs] Hit us up, let us know.

Al: Maybe my dad will answer.

M: Ok!

Al: Let's see, then on update. Omarosa came on, Leslie came back as Omarosa. And I agree with the assessment here [need link] that it was slightly heightened from what we had heard in the news but not really, so it didn't feel —that Omarosa shit was so crazy, they needed to do something bonkers.

M: Yeah, it was literally just what happened...

Al: OH but then Moffatt Alex Moffatt came back as the guy who just bought a boat. Which is currently one of my very favorite weekend update characters.

M: Wait he was in that one?

Al: He was, yeah! Oh my god. The way he just keeps going my dick is bad. And he says it in the exact same tone of voice that he says all the rest of his lines but just slips it in there.

M: Ohhh yes this is the Christmas episode.

[Meaty and Al watch "Guy Who Just Bought a Boat" give advice on Christmas dating, which basically just consists of us laughing and repeating lines]

Al: Oh my god that was so funny. [cracks up] It's just...there's so many words are abbreviated that I wouldn't even imagine could be abbreviated.

M: Theres so. many. puns. Just of Colin's name.

Al: The writing is so good and the delivery is so good. Ok then there was the nativity play with the actual llama on set, and this wasn't particularly good or clever, but it WAS funny. Because watching Kyle, and mikey, and kevin play high schoolers who are freaking out because the llama has a boner was pretty funny.

M: yep.

Al: From the recap: "This sketch might be worth it to watch Hart, Day, and Kyle Mooney portray hapless wise men shouting, “Jah-eed,” at a real llama, but there’s not a lot to recommend it beyond that."

M: It's just...llama with an erection. God what else what in this?

Al: Oh this next one, I remember not really liking. Leslie and Kevin were a couple arriving at a Christmas party, and she controls him. And it's like this could be funny, where Leslie is in charge and her boo loves her...it could have been funny and silly, but...

M: Yeah it was like ...is this a bad relationship?

Al: Oh, Active Jack? Remember that?

M: That one was - I don't even really know, what to...do about that.

Al: Yeah, there was just nothing - there was no punchline. I remember finishing it and being like wait, what was supposed to be funny about that?...Well. That's all of them.

M: Yeah, and I remember actually very much enjoying the musical guest of this episode. It was just Foo Fighters doing a Christmas medley. And I was just like...eh. It's cuuute.

Al: Well, ok is that a pretty good summary?

M: I think so! I wanna give one more shout out to Che, I don't remember what episode it was, but it was weekend update, and he was talking about something Republican vs. Democrat or Trump vs. someone, and he says "except for me. I think they're all bitches." Which is just...[cracks up].

Al: I would say out of the ones we have talked about, the Saoirse Ronan episode was my favorite. But it hurts me to in any way make Chance not teh very top. The james franco had a couple of sketches that now i begrudgingly loved, and a couple were really fucking weird, and a couple were really fucking good. And the Kevin hart one was just kind of a dud. That's my take.

M: Yeah, I agree.

Al: I think Saoirse and Chance were equally good hosts but there were—it was just basically, in my opinion every sketch [in the Saoirse episode] was a hit, except for maybe that plane one.

M: Yeah I really, that Aer Lingus one, I just don't get it. Maybe it's not for me.

Al: I think the dogs made me really happy.

M: Yeah it was just like, oh cute, but I really don't understand what's happening. Um also, one last thing, I took a screen shot, because we follow SNL on instagram

Al: yes we do.

M: and I was watching some video, and the visible comments at the moment: A guy named "pataklysm" said "You should cut your writing team. I haven't laughed once this season."

Al: [laughs]

A: And I would just like to say, to Pataclysm: You're fucking wrong.

Al: You're fucking wrong, dude!

A: And if you haven't laughed once this season I suggest—

Al: You find a therapist

A: Yeah, there's something else going on with you.

Al: Can we reach out to him? Kind of see if he's doing ok?

A: Yeah, cause, there were some jokes, if you don't know how to laugh at jokes...

Al: If you don't know how to laugh at Aidy Bryant saying that she needs mouth wash because her bird diarrhea-d in her mouth, then, I'm sorry.

A: You're just wrong. So anyway! That's that!

As always, all images & videos are property of NBC/Universal

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