The show will occasionally find a diamond in the dirt, host-wise, but building a show around someone so at home in ensemble comedy is undoubtedly easier for the writers and cast.
No real bummers tonight, although the Ten-To-Oneland sketch about privileged young women calling everything “Ghetto” wouldn’t have amounted to much without Banks’ signature commitment as the member of the group who cluelessly revealed that she does live in some pretty dire housing circumstances.
The best sketches were filmed pieces, something that’s occurring with disappointing frequency on a live sketch show.
“Black Jeopardy” came back, with Banks’s well-meaning white contestant struggling to pick up the vibe of such categories as “I don’t know you,” “Who try’na?,” and “What happened was…” As ever, the sketch hinges on the white contestant being thrust into a situation w she’s the uncomfortable one for a change, and, while it’s never the funniest sketch around, it gives the show’s black cast members a showcase.
It’s sort of a curmudgeonly premise for a recurring sketch well, the show is 41 at this point, just the presumed age of reluctant audience parents Kenan Thompson and Vanessa Bayer, whose bewildered and exasperated asides to each other during the performance were nicely underplayed.
The first episode in a while not to include a presidential debate sketch, this week saw Jay Pharoah trotting out his funny approximation of Ben Carson’s tight-lipped, sleepy speaking style in a sketch visualizing some of the candidates’ increasingly ludicrous tales of youthful violent bravado.
It’s rough out t for a featured player, and new guy Jon Rudnitsky showed up just once, holding a clapperboard in the funny cop show sketch.
The “That’s so ghetto” sketch mentioned above sat it this spot, but didn’t own it, Banks commitment to the potentially biting bit the only thing suggesting the strangeness a real final sketch should have.