The Degrassi star-turned-rapper gave it his all upon his return to Studio 8H in his second double-duty stint as host and musical guest (in support of his new album Views). While the humor in some sketches might’ve been more questionable than, say, the level of acceptable funk on a song by Downtown Sasquatch, the Artist Formerly Known as Jimmy Brooks shined when asked to play a 1970s R&B singer, a rude rental car salesman and a rare black Canadian named Jared.
Seeing as though he’s the only musical guest in recent memory capable of pulling double duty as adroitly as five-timer Justin Timberlake, it’s easy to imagine Lorne Michaels calling Drake on the cell phone again during Season 42. (And to think he allegedly started from the very bottom!)
Lo and behold, my picks for best and worst sketches from Season 41’s penultimate episode:
BEST: DRAKE’S BEEF
In what was arguably the best digital short of the season, the Grammy winner drew inspiration for his latest verses from a plethora of rage-inducing #FirstWorldProblems. His lyrics grew more explicit with each alleged confrontation, like when Pete Davidson made fun of him for having trouble with his television set, or when Aidy Bryant removed his baseball cap from a nearby chair to make herself comfortable.
BEST: MORE THAN A MEME (OPENING MONOLOGUE)
Before busting out a Rihanna wig to deny rumors that they’re more than just friends, Drake embraced his role in Internet culture with a clever ballad that poked fun at the many memes inspired by his “Hotline Bling” dance moves, his time on Degrassi and the cover of his latest album release.
BEST: BLACK JEOPARDY
In the latest edition of one of SNL’s most reliable game show sketches, Drake tackled a character he was born to play: a black Canadian. Though we could’ve done without the self-referential humor when host Darnell Hayes claimed that no good rappers have ever come from north of the border, Rick Moranis-enthusiast Jared was “hilarious, dawg” with his thick Toronto accent, his inability to be impolite and his failure to excel at such categories as “Oh Snap!” and “Bruh.” Thankfully for Jared, he still managed to win by uttering the secret black phrase of the day.
HONORABLE MENTION: JAY PHARAOH ON WEEKEND UPDATE
Pharaoh is SNL‘s go-to impressionist these days, and for good reason. This was the second time he brought a parade of impersonations to the Update desk this season, but his A+ channeling of rappers such as Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj and Will Smith (aka a rapper Colin Jost likes) put this segment over the top. Drake confronting him about his Drake impression was just the icing on the cake.
WORST: BABY BOSS
Whether you love or hate this sketch in which Dick Patterson is a 52-and-9-months-old man with the body of a baby, there’s no denying Beck Bennett’s commitment to the bit. His MVP-level physicality was no less impressive here, but the sketch surrounding the character’s return left much to be desired and made little-to-no use of Drake. This time around, Patterson was brought in as a potential Republican candidate for president should Donald Trump not secure enough delegates to avoid a contested convention. Blerg.
OK, it’s your turn: What did you think of this week’s SNL? Grade the episode in our poll, then sound off in the comments.