Melissa McCarthy knows how to host. She’s wacky and fun and so full of energy that she makes even the sleepiest watchers completely forget about the comfy bed waiting for them in the next room. (Raises hand.) And, perhaps most significantly, she can disappear into hilariously absurd characters with ease and skill.
That’s exactly what she did in Saturday’s episode, her fourth time hosting the show. The monologue, which featured McCarthy celebrating being a five-timer before Kenan Thompson broke it to her that she had only been on the show four times, wasn’t the strongest, but it wasn’t a total miss, either — and even if it was, that would have been forgiven thanks to what came next: a digital short poking fun at Beyoncé-inspired hysteria among white people (more on that later), among other highlights.
Fellow SNL veteran Kanye West joined McCarthy as the night’s musical guest, and succeeded in putting on a capital-S show for both the songs he performed of new album, The Life of Pablo, before announcing that the album was officially dropping on Tidal and his website right then. Even though that claim didn’t end up being completely true, as Pablo didn’t show up on Tidal until nearly an hour later, the declaration itself still added an extra dose of excitement to the preceding stellar performance.
Read more about that performance and McCarthy’s best moments below.
SNL roasts those anti-Beyoncé protesters
Beyoncé’s music video for “Formation,” released just a day before her Super Bowl performance, is a tribute to black culture in the South — and, as a result, upset some white people. SNL tackled this head-on in a fictional trailer for a movie called The Day Beyoncé Turned Black about the chaos that erupted once Beyoncé’s white fans realized their queen was black. It’s relevant and sharp and successful in pointing out just how ridiculous the anti-“Formation” crowds are.
Melissa McCarthy proves she’s not someone you want to see a scary movie with
McCarthy has a special knack for creating unimaginably gross characters, and the one she plays in this sketch is a new classic: The clip looks at a focus group that just watched a horror movie, one that we soon find out McCarthy’s character did not do well with. Some people shriek when something scary happens; she pees herself and punches people nearby. And just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, it does. She ends up having what looks like an exorcism (spontaneous vomit and all), suddenly making that guy you sat to during Star Wars who Snapchatted the entire time seem like a perfectly polite human.
Leslie Jones reveals her (very specific) ideal man
Leslie Jones shines in a Weekend Update bit where she lists all the qualities she wants her Valentine to have while Thompson, playing a man named Manuel, scores her speech with gentle piano. The highlight comes when she starts basically screaming about how flowers are dead things and she doesn’t want dead things. Tip: Never give Jones flowers. (Or maybe do — her response to receiving them might just be worth it.)
Kyle Mooney shows off his rap “skills”
Judging by West’s blank, uninterested stare in the latest SNL promo, it seemed like he’d probably just be sticking to his musical performances this time around. But that turned out to be wrong in a digital short starring Kyle Mooney as a version of Kyle Mooney that was pursuing a hip-hop career before he got the gig on SNL — and who thinks engaging in a rap battle with West would be just the way to kickstart his career. Like many of Mooney’s characters, this one is mightily misguided, and proves just how clueless he is when he declares that he “destroyed Kanye” after that sought-after battle against West. You’ll have to watch their actual interaction to see just how delightfully wrong that is.
Kanye goes gospel
West’s “Highlights” performance, which he opened with, was good. But West’s “Ultralight Beam” performance was otherwordly. Chance the Rapper completely commanded the stage when he came on for his verse, and a backing choir (plus Kelly Price and The-Dream) gave the song a powerful, gospel edge. West didn’t do so bad himself, giddily smiling when others were taking the spotlight and taking intense control of the stage when it was his turn. Multiple parts, namely that Chance appearance, inspired chills — and a wish that all SNL musical guests could be this captivating.
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