SNL recap: Woody Harrelson and Kendrick Lamar

Woody Harrelson SNL 2014

I have a theory about Saturday Night Live cold opens. They’re terrible on purpose, to set the bar low for the rest of the episode. It seems to be the strategy for this 40th season of the iconic sketch-comedy show. Last night’s episode, hosted by Woody Harrelson with musical guest Kendrick Lamar, started with a lame sketch of Jay Pharoah’s Obama drinking with Taran Killam’s Mitch McConnell. This kind of political sketch seems odd for for me to see SNL do, since it hasn’t bothered to be topical very often this season, and when it does, it doesn’t do it very well.

The rest of the Harrelson episode was stellar by comparison, and Harrelson did have a few memorable moments. He wasn’t overshadowed by his monologue crashers (his Hunger Games co-stars Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh Jennifer Lawrence) like Bill Hader was earlier this season by Kristen Wiig, but that’s mostly because Harrelson’s crashers didn’t have much to do or say. Among the Harrelson-centric highlights: the monologue song about the year 1989; playing one of the dads in the new CBS sitcom The Dudleys; lamenting New York City’s crack situation, i.e. that it is harder to come by these days and its quality is dwindling. One thing that should be noted about this season of SNL is how great the musical guests are and have been on stage. Between Hozier and Prince, and last night’s electrifying Kendrick Lamar set, it’s great to see different genres grace the SNL stage and the artists making it their own.

Here are my three favourite moments from last night’s show:

Kendrick Lamar performs “i” 

Hypnotic and energetic, Kendrick Lamar got on that stage and owned it. If you weren’t exicted about his new album before, he certainly makes the case that it’ll be one of the best of the year. Most/all links to his performance are not streamable in Canada, so you will just have to take my word for it.

Leslie Jones on crazy bitches during Weekend Update 

It’s where most viewers first witnessed her greatness, so I don’t mind that Leslie Jones’s only moment last night was a rant about men calling women they’ve slept with crazy during Weekend Update. I do hope she will get to do more things soon. I am excited to see the characters she has cooking in her head. Watch Weekend Update on Global’s website. 

Last Call

It’s hard to get annoyed with the repetitiveness of the sketch when Kate McKinnon commits to it so fully. Harrelson and McKinnon are the last two patrons in a bar and they are convincing each other as much as themselves that leaving with this person is probably not going to be the worst thing they have ever done. Watch Last Call on Global’s website.

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