Issa Rae was meant to host Saturday Night Live back in the spring, before coronavirus shut down production on the sketch show in the studio. But Lorne Michaels brought her back to make good on their original plans. Unfortunately, this meant she was forced to host an episode where political satire is taking up the space of three sketches, giving her far fewer opportunities to shine throughout the night. Even the sketches that managed to include her didn’t make use of her comedic potential, which only added to the frustration that this subpar episode brought to the table.
Anyway, let’s look at the best and worst sketches from the Issa Rae hosted Saturday Night Live.
5-Hour Empathy – This is brilliant satire. In one of SNL‘s traditional commercial parodies, this sketch tackles the struggle that white people have with confronting their own lack of understanding years of systemic oppression and ever-present racism. This is one of those great sketches that confronts a significant social issue with great comedy. Kenan Thompson’s presence as the commercial’s narrator who keeps the subjects from getting off easy is the icing on an already fantastic cake.
eBay – With a show like SNL, whose reputation comes from being live, it can be a little frustrating when the best sketches are the pre-recorded sketches. But great comedy is great comedy, and in this sketch, everyone who has been cooped up at home during the coronavirus pandemic gets taken to task for spending money on things that they thought would occupy them at home. How many things have we bought that have just sat collecting dust since we bought them? The sad look on Chris Redd’s face when he says, “Guitars hurt, nobody tells you that,” really got me.
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