Episode Review: Kanye takes SNL

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 5:42pm

NOSELL

NBC

 

Now in season 41, “Saturday Night Live” is like your cool old grandpa: sometimes cringe-worthy, but ultimately still kicking and keeping up with the kids.

On this week’s episode, hosted by Melissa McCarthy (promoting her new movie, “The Boss”) and rapper Kanye West, the highlight of the show was the spoof movie trailer called “The Day Beyoncé Turned Black.” Created in response to last week’s media uproar about Beyoncé’s music video for “Formation” — the video hints at police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement — the “SNL” trailer mocks “the day white people never saw coming,” as if Beyoncé’s race revelation is a disaster movie. There’s fire in the streets, cubicles collapsing and an office worker crying in agony, “I got a hot sauce in my bag, swag ... What does that mean?” (It means that everyone should seriously settle down about Queen Bey’s artistic choices.)

Keeping up the theme of music superstars, another pitch-perfect skit was “Kyle v. Kanye,” where Kyle Mooney of “SNL” challenges Kanye to a rap battle. Mooney is serious about it, too — he tells a dramatic backstory of his dream to be the best rapper alive, rather than just a “heartthrob on the rise” — and if he can out-rap Kanye, his dreams will come true.

Unfortunately, Mooney’s best rhyme is “Kanye West, you need a mint for your Kanye breath,” and Kanye crushes him. But like most “SNL” skits, the humor’s in miscommunication: after their showdown, Mooney confesses, “That was the biggest mistake of my life ... I just destroyed Kanye in a rap battle and now he’s probably really sad.”

Onstage, McCarthy’s monologue was forgettable, but Leslie Jones slayed Weekend Update by describing her perfect valentine, giving hope to picky singles everywhere. Cheers to love, rap and Queen Bey.