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

kevin-hart-snl-hostAfter serving up three consecutive hosts (Adam Levine, Justin Bieber and Christoph Waltz) not exactly known for their comedic skills, Saturday Night Live went with a more conventional pick this week in Kevin Hart. But would the diminutive funnyman pull NBC’s veteran sketch comedy show out of its recent slump?

In two words: Not really.

Alas, while Hart brought unbridled energy to roles as varied as a news anchor, a model for a T-shirt ad and a man who’s deathly afraid of horses — and while a number of the show’s setups were more creative than usual — the lackluster writing and execution meant laughs were simply too few and far between. Case in point: There was a brilliant concept in Hart’s adorable Quvenzhané Wallis being named as the successor to Pope Benedict XVI, but the writers focused too much on CNN host Wolf Blitzer’s reactions and not enough on Little Q delivering zingers like “Who the man? I’m the man!” in Latin. With a little more work, the intermittently amusing gag could’ve been pumped up to an SNL classic.

Anyhow, with those gripes out in the open, here are my picks for the week’s best and worst sketches:

BEST: Dove Chocolate Ad Voiceover
Vanessa Bayer’s calm and collected white lady faced off against Hart’s noisy, occasionally maniacal black man while reading identical copy for those “little chocolate nugget things.” (“They’re called bites, Dante,” sighed Fred Armisen as one of the execs judging the voiceover-off.) I’m still not sure why this setup made me so giddy, but is there anyone who didn’t crack up at Hart’s “I’d bring the whole goddamn bag!”?

BEST: The Walking Dead
Hart portrayed a guy transforming into a zombie and blaming the show’s core charaters for snubbing him out of racism. Sketch MVP goes to Nasim Pedrad as 12-year-old Carl, who talked about feeling “emotionally fine” after killing, but Hart’s “Thriller” dance made him a close runner-up.

WORST: 360 News
Hart’s newsman sported a neck brace during a show with the intro voiceover “Eight cameras, one newsman, 80 stories, one sentence each.” The could’ve added “zero laughs” to the tagline and let everyone go to bed 10 minutes early, no?

WORST: Steve Harvey Show
Kenan Thompson’s biggest innovation as the daytime talk host seemed to be pronouncing the word “phobia” as “pho-BY-ah.” And Hart’s role as a dude with an overarching fear of equines was so bafflingly random that I wondered if it was built around the show needing to justify having a gigantic stuffed horse in its storage closet.

What did you think of this week’s SNL? How would you rate Hart as host? What did you think were the best and worst sketches? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Snappy says:

    Z-Shirt tho

    • Zoe says:

      IS IT A B-SHIRT?!

      (Yes. Z-Shirt was hilarious.)

      • scooby says:

        Wow some people scare me with their truly horrible sense of humor. The Z shirt bit wasn’t funny from the second someone conceived of it which I’m guessing at 2am. It’s something an SNL writer typically finds hilarious while stoned and lacking sleep. Aren’t they supposed to cut stuff like that in dress rehearsal? I guess they would’ve if there hadn’t been so many other things that needed to go. All I could think during the episode was “I can see why Kevin didn’t make SNL before. Great job filtering, Lorne.” His monologue consisted of yelling. There weren’t actually jokes to laugh at so we were just supposed to laugh at the style of his telling the story and the image of a palm on a sandwich. A story that would’ve been stretched if you took it 30 seconds went on for several minutes. It would’ve been funnier to see the sketch of this with Fred Armisen playing the homeless guy and Taran as the white guy whose sandwich got palmed. The performance of Kevin cramming the sandwich into his mouth out of fear that it would get stolen could’ve been a funny physical gag (literally). I agree that the Pope and Walking Dead sketches were the best and could’ve been better. There was actually potential but it ended up being filler that was trying too hard. So thankful for JT next week. Always a great SNL host even though he’s not who you think of when you think comedy. Probably just the natural performer in him.

  2. Toia says:

    Better than previous weeks but not great. And why did they play the verismo skit again I had just shown that to my mom earlier today then it’s on again tonight?
    Something needs to happen in the writers room cuz everything seems like its just not quite there lately, like it needed a few more minutes work to be a fully realized sketch. Or maybe they are just waiting for JT to wow us all

    • Arie says:

      I’ve noticed they play the same faux-mercials whenever they have an extra minute or two of air time to fill. I think it depends on how much extra time they have, that’s when they’ll look for which ever commercial fits that time.

  3. I like The Walking Dead so much that I was actually sad when SNL Maggie died.

  4. Bill says:

    NBC needs to pick up Keenan’s sitcom. He’ll stop ruining this show. His sitcom will get cancelled after a few weeks. We’ll never have to look at the unfunny blob again.

  5. Blank Slate says:

    After the kerfuffle with THE ONION and its disgusting tweet about the child actress, I was surprised SNL went forward with this sketch about the little girl becoming the new Pope. If they had made fun of the ONION in the sketch, perhaps it would have made great social comedy but as it stood, it wasn’t funny on its own and actually made everyone think more about the ONION than they have ever done in a lifetime!

    The show was horrible. Make it stop.

    • dude says:

      I didn’t think about the Onion once during that sketch. I don’t associate the actress with the Onion just because they made one stupid, tasteless tweet about her. There was no need for them to cancel this sketch. They could have made it funny but that’s another complaint.

      • KevyB says:

        I love when people get so offended by WORDS! Hopefully Miss Q’s mom taught her what my mommy taught me: Sticks and stones will break my bones but WORDS WILL NEVER HARM ME. Which I guess isn’t a popular idea in this thin-skinned world we live in.

  6. Blank Slate says:

    ps Is that Real Husbands of Hollywood a real show or was it a fake ad? I couldn’t tell!

    • Arie says:

      I haven’t seen SNL yet so I’m not sure what ad they showed, but I do know that he did create the show Real Husbands of Hollywood for BET and has been airing for the past few weeks now. I’ve seen a few minutes of the show while channel surfing. It’s okay.

    • dude says:

      It’s a real show. It’s okay. Pretty funny but I feel like it’s only half a concept. It’s basically Kevin hanging out with his friends.

  7. David says:

    The show just keeps getting worse and worse. If this is what Lorne Michaels and head writer Seth Meyers thinks is funny, then it is time for NBC to show both of them the door. They are settling for mediocre material. You know that’s true when the highlight of the show is thanking God that they didn’t do another Californians sketch! It is obvious that they are pushing Keenan as the new “star” of the show and that is such a mistake. He plays the same character in every sketch and that character’s name is Unfunny. This week I did not enjoy Kevin Hart as a host. In most of the sketches, he did nothing but shout. And in the monologue he kept using the phrase “white people” over and over and over. Can you imagine the uproar if a white host kept using the phrase “black people”? SNL needs a major overhaul with losing Michaels, Meyers and Keenan as the first step. They need to hire writers who can actually write parody.

    • Lizabeth says:

      I disagree about them cutting Lorne Michaels, but I completely agree about Seth Meyers. I have never been a fan of Seth’s on SNL and was disappointed when I realized they made him head writer. For the last few years the humor on the show has seemed so juvenile, like the sketches were written by or for 18 year old college boys (and I mean boys). Having watched Seth in years past, and even now on Weekend Update, it makes a little more sense as to why the show has that feel. Right now, SNL is very trite, stale and faux-edgy. Releasing Seth, Fred Armisen (another I’ve never found funny) and possibly Keenan, though I don’t have as many issues with him as I do Seth and Fred, and really showcasing Bill Hader, Bobby Moynihan, Vanessa Bayer, Taran Killam and some of the newer cast members, could freshen it up quite a bit.

      • Bob says:

        Agree completely. Dump Meyers, Armisen and especially Thompson. Get a new crew of writers, too. They’re all stale and set in their ways.

  8. Galaxia says:

    I’ve never fast forwarded through an SNL episode that much before. The Walking Dead skit was the best, but that’s really not saying much. Timberlake will save us all next week.

  9. Tran says:

    Best skit of the night: The Walking Dead. SNL better spoof more TV shows like Breaking Bad or Downton Abbey or perhaps Revolution. Let’s hope Timberlake saves SNL next week and it better be a good one, a VERY good one.

  10. Richard Romero says:

    What is up with the Fake Don Pardo last night? It did not sound like the real one. One last thing… Seth Myers needs to go.

  11. PutAForkInIt says:

    BEST? there were none.
    WORST? everything else

    please bring on better writers AND cast for next season

  12. TV Gord says:

    The Walking Dead was the best of the week, but it’s not saying much. What made it better was they had a concept…and they DID SOMETHING WITH IT, unlike Quvenzhane has the Pope, where they had an idea and did NOTHING with it.

    I’ve never found Kevin Hart’s comedy as funny as some of my friends have, but when he subbed as a host of Chelsea Handler a few months ago, he was terrific, and a very good interviewer. He’s much funnier when he’s thinking on his feet than he is when he’s scripted.

  13. forwarddad says:

    I thought show was considerably better than previous shows. Opener was funny with Hart. There was one skit where he just cracked up. I think they need two doing weekend update. Seth is just getting boring. Keenan should do Harvey as Family Feud Host .

  14. Mike says:

    I was unable to enjoy the walking dead skit after they killed Maggie.

  15. Babybop says:

    For some reason the “Z shirt” sketch had me in tears. It was so random… I loved it.

  16. voxpop says:

    SNL is a disaster and has been for years..but it’s in an unimportant time slot and something has to go there..truth is SNL should have been cancelled years ago.

  17. Taylor says:

    No mention that Tim Robinson FINALLY made someone laugh? Even if it was the host…

  18. Bo says:

    Worst: the “Oh Really?” segment that blasted the South for being “racist” that was immediately followed by a sketch that used the horrific fried chicken / watermelon / ghetto walk stereotypes. Once again, I’m reminded that the true racists of the 21st century reside above the Mason Dixon line.

    • TV Gord says:

      Speaking of being racist, what was the deal with Kevin referring in the opening monologue to “The White Guy” and “The Homeless Guy”? Are we to assume the homeless guy was non-white? If a white guy spoke that way, there would be headlines today!

  19. S says:

    I loved Hart’s opener! I was laughing the whole time and a little sad we didn’t get to see his Denzel or Dinero in a sketch. When he joined Seth during update I had to laugh at his breaking character “gd Seth I will get this!” After fumbling the line twice.
    I must admit however that I rarely watch an entire snl anymore. Keenan hasn’t been funny since his GoodBurger days, heck it would actually be funny to see them put something like that in a sketch. If Hart’s story on impersonations was the least bit true then it makes me wonder how they ever hired Keenan since he is only ever the same character (voice etc never changes)

  20. Morgen says:

    This host was like an ad for Five Hour Energy shots.
    The ‘Walking Dead’ sketch had potential: Carl was spot-on, but if they were going to bring up racism, they needed to whip out Merle at the end. Imagine if Merle had come out and yelled at Hart’s character as “T-Dog” with an ensuing “we don’t ALL look alike!” – that might have been funny. Like most sketches this season, there was potential, but not followed through and realized.

    • Faster says:

      I agree. I felt like the whole story where he got bitten and was turning into a zombie was pointless. There is so much potential in the fact that the black guy on this show always dies, and I was surprised it didn’t go there. Could have been super funny. The Thriller mention was funny, but it could have still been worked in somehow.

  21. Sam says:

    The show was not the best by far, but it hasn’t been in a while. I didn’t love Hart’s use of “gd” when he messed up. That stuff just ain’t cool, baby. I’m sure that’s part of his usual stand-up and what not, but I didn’t like seeing it on SNL.

  22. Lakisha says:

    I can barely comment on this one since I stopped watching SNL years ago.

  23. Blank Slate says:

    The show coasts by on its name. One or two of the cast members carry the weight for the rest of the third rate cast now. A shame.

  24. Bob says:

    If your choices are what passes for Best, this show should be canceled immediately. Or, dump Meyers, Armisen and Thompson, along with the writing staff.

  25. The Daft Punk advertisement was the best part

  26. Jake says:

    I really enjoyed the opening monologue.
    It was also rather unique because no one sang or played a musical instrument.

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