Unhealthy issues appear to occur to Megan Thee Stallion proper earlier than huge issues do. This week, somebody reportedly robbed her Los Angeles house days forward of her look on Saturday Night time Stay, the place she grew to become the second feminine rapper to drag double obligation as host and musical visitor. Final night time, she put that incident to the facet and strutted out on the SNL stage in a sheer gown and black corset, ready to be herself. She proceeded to infuse stale sketches with irresistible power, stretching how a lot a bunch can add to a present that’s nonetheless figuring itself out following sizable forged adjustments.
Megan was endearing to observe. She invigorated flat traces along with her Houston cadences and posturing tongue pops, she cracked up throughout an in any other case insipid sketch a few deer, and she or he grew noticeably emotional performing her first music of the night time, “Nervousness.” Recognized for her provocative and sex-positive lyricism—and outfits—Megan invited a extra weak second by staging the music as a colourful magnificence pageant. Her lyric “Unhealthy bitches have dangerous days too” appeared to overwhelm her, and for a second the veil dropped. It appeared to disclose that every one the enjoyable she’d been having up till then belied a deeper energy—that she might soar into the episode so enthusiastically regardless of the private drama roiling within the background.
For SNL, hosts are a type of framing gadget, including a novel perspective whereas maintaining the weekly machine turning. Good ones slot in seamlessly, like they’re a standout forged member, and the weakest gum up the gears. Megan, in flip, gave the present license to enterprise in overdue instructions. Although SNL’s forged has grown extra numerous in recent times, its sketches haven’t at all times adopted. Final night time, Megan’s presence inspired the present to characteristic extra particularly Black premises and characters. On the recommendation present “Lady Speak,” hosted by Mo’nique Cash Mo’nique Issues (Ego Nwodim), Megan performed a visitor looking for recommendation about her dishonest boyfriend. The ensuing dialog noticed them trade the phrase lady, infusing it with totally different emotional intonations to suggest totally different meanings. That straightforward bit deepened when the forged member Punkie Johnson arrived with a extra complicated drawback. To assist viewers sustain, Mo’nique turned on subtitles “for any white folks or males tuning in,” and the group mentioned the state of affairs in Ukraine utilizing just one phrase.
The episode’s closing and arguably greatest sketch flipped an outdated stereotype. When a substitute trainer (Nwodim) encountered a rowdy classroom of Black high-school college students, she instantly started making assumptions about their training degree. But it surely turned out they have been in an honors physics class. “All of us needed to take a college-level check to get in right here,” Megan’s character knowledgeable the sub. Her ever extra bewildered reactions to the trainer’s racism propelled the sketch.
Although the sketches final night time have been enjoyable, they did not seize the extra pointed racial commentary behind a few of the present’s strongest bits in recent times, together with final season’s glorious “Amazon Go” critique. The writing at instances didn’t rise to satisfy Megan’s skills, and the episode was additional marred by technical difficulties that may have capsized a lesser host.
Megan’s spirited look additionally solely highlighted that the chilly open, which recapped the ultimate January 6 committee listening to, was pitiful with out her. The sketch needled the committee for being bland and boring, Democratic Celebration leaders Nancy Pelosi (Chloe Fineman) and Chuck Schumer (in a pleasant impression from Sarah Sherman) for being inept, and Donald Trump (James Austin Johnson) for being boorish. It introduced both-sides-isms to a critical occasion, spreading the blame reasonably than focusing it, and as soon as once more steered that SNL is unequipped to lampoon the present political second.
However these missteps didn’t detract from what Megan was in a position to accomplish. She appeared to encourage SNL to seek out its efficiency by means of totally different avenues. The blandness of sure sketches emphasised how crucial the appropriate host may be, saving the day as a substitute of succumbing to it.