30° Good Morning
30° Good Morning

Singer Halsey does double duty on 'SNL'

Beck Bennett, host Halsey and Pete Davidson spoof

Beck Bennett, host Halsey and Pete Davidson spoof "Riverdale" during a sketch on "Saturday Night Live." Credit: NBC/Will Heath

You know you've got a problematic edition of "SNL" when it's hosted by someone most viewers over 25 have never heard of, while the highlight is a song about another singer most viewers (over 25) have never heard of either.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Halsey — 24, host and musical guest who also painted a giant upside-down picture of herself in one song, then called out her ex, G-Eazy, for cheating on her, in another, "Without Me." That was the highlight, by the way. She then went on to perform in most of the sketches too. All in all, she was pretty good.

And then (ladies and gentlemen), meet "Saturday Night Live," which at 44 still can't figure out one of the most vitally important aspects of show business — consistency — nor how to turn around funny material within a short time frame when most other late night shows, from CBS's "Late Show" to NBC's own "Late Night with Seth Meyers," manage that feat on a nightly basis. All in all, this most recent edition was woeful.

It started off on the wrong foot and never fully recovered.  NBC's own words describing the cold open serve as a warning as opposed to a promise: "Chuck Todd (Kyle Mooney), Eugene Robinson (Kenan Thompson), Peggy Noonan (Cecily Strong) and Donna Brazile (Leslie Jones) debate what Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' penis looks like in stolen texts on Meet the Press."

"SNL" has plenty of material to work with and did. There was the "Women of Congress" taped bit, which managed to be both amusing and offensive. There was the skit about other Virginia politicians and whether they too had once dressed in blackface. That one was just obvious. Another skit about the dad with the unusual side-gig was interminable, also offensive.

Meanwhile, "Weekend Update" couldn't let go of Jeff Bezos. Maybe "SNL" doesn't want Amazon here either.

A late-in-show bit about Black History month, with cast members Kenan Thompson, Leslie Jones, Chris Redd and Ego Nwodim paying tribute to "SNL's" contributions to African-American culture and entertainment, missed an obvious target: "SNL" itself. Its contributions to said subject over the decades have also been inconsistent, and when groundbreaking, usually by happenstance.

There's always next week to recover (Don Cheadle is host.)  By the way, G-Eazy will not be musical guest. Too bad.  An easy (pun obviously intended) laugh. "SNL" needs those. 

More Entertainment