It’s no secret that Saturday Night Live is in a creative rut this fall, struggling to hold on to the momentum of its Emmy-winning Season 42. Its final broadcast of 2017, led by returning host Kevin Hart, was very much in line with what the show’s been delivering as of late: a mediocre-at-best episode with very little to get excited about.
First up, Scarlett Johansson returned as complicit First Daughter Ivanka Trump in a Christmas-themed cold open. Hart then came out and delivered what can only be described as a tone-deaf monologue about how mothers are incapable of being fun, thus making the job of being a father that much harder. [Insert eye-roll here.] What followed was a series of sketches that found the comedian playing superhero, fondling teddy bears and pooping his pants. (Yes, really.)
BEST: CAPTAIN SHADOW
Hart played the titular, Batman-esque vigilante in this pre-taped sketch, who found himself pulled over by the cops and busted for possessing his very special “energy dust.” New cast member Chris Redd was especially funny here as 16-year-old sidekick Cardinal, who broke his promise to let Shadow do all the talking.
BEST: OFFICE PHONE CALL
Who doesn’t love a good poop joke? Hart tickled our funny bone here as Doug, a businessman unwilling to admit to his colleagues that he needed to use the bathroom, instead going all-in on a ridiculous excuse until it was too late to turn back.
HONORABLE MENTION: ACTIVE JACK
Hart and Kenan Thompson played the before-and-after versions of a PBS personality who once prided himself on helping kids stay in shape. It’s the “after” version played by Thompson that gets the biggest laugh here.
WORST: INSIDE THE NBA
Kevin Hart is many things. A good impressionist is not one of them. Even if the memory of Jay Pharoah’s stellar Shaquille O’Neal impression had somehow escaped you, there’s no way you could have thought Hart’s take was any good.
WORST: CHRISTMAS PARTY
To have been a fly on the wall in Lorne Michaels’ office when this sketch was pitched! Is stuffed animal cruelty a crime? And if so, who does one call: PETA or Build-A-Bear? (Drop a comment and let us know!)
What were your favorite sketches of the night? And what missed the mark? Grade the episode via the following poll, then hit the comments to flesh out your thoughts.