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Highlights, Such as They Are, from the Charles Barkley Hosted 'SNL'

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | March 3, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | March 3, 2018 |


Cold Open — Despite saying that playing the character is “agony” for Alec Baldwin, he has returned to equivocate on the Second Amendment. “Maybe we should just take guns away from everyone. Including the whites.” On the mass resignations: “Jared Kushner is probably the hottest chick left in the White House, and he’s probably going to jail.” On tariffs: “I said I would run this country like a business, and that business is a Waffle House at 2 a.m.” That’s actually pretty accurate. Kate McKinnon also shows up as Jeff Sessions. All in all, not a bad cold open — Baldwin hit all the week’s highlights — but not a great one, either. (Watch here) (Score: 6 out of 10)

Charles Barkley Monologue — This is Barkley’s fourth time hosting SNL “for no reason,” and while I’m pretty indifferent to Barkley, and not a fan of his stiff delivery (which is often his biggest selling point on the show), I do appreciate that he gives a fairly standard monologue with a few decent jokes and he takes Laura Ingraham to task. Not a bad monologue. (Watch here) (Score: 5 out of 10)

The Grabbies — An award ceremony for the most egregious sexual harassers in the industry. Bold. It is not entirely unsuccessful, although I wouldn’t’ call it successful, either. It has its moments. (Score: 6 out of 10)

Ned’s Roach Away — It’s one joke, but it’s a great one: “The only thing that can get rid of a bad roach, is a good roach with a gun.” “Only the best, god-fearing roaches can carry a gun, and none of my roaches are gay.” (Score: 6 out of 10)

Homework Hotline — A call-in show where a teacher provides homework advice, only all the people who call in make jokes about the teacher having sex with his puppet. This is a bad skit, and it should be ashamed of itself, and you should be ashamed of yourself for enjoying it, Mat. (Watch here) (Score: 2 out of 10)

The Champions — Chat show with athletes, including Barkley and (the actual) A-Rod, plus Kenan Thompson playing the fictional D.C. Timmons bragging about why football is a tougher sport (he clearly has Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy). I’m not sure CTE ought to be a topic to joke about, but Kenan Thompson at least makes it arguable. (Watch here) (Score: 5 out of 10)

Weekend Update — Cecily Strong appears as Hope Hicks and does a nice job of it (I think. I have no idea because no one has ever heard Hope Hicks speak). Meanwhile, Che and Jost’s joke writing is mediocre this week, although Che has a pretty great rant on hunting. Leslie Jones comes on to objectify the Olympic athletes, and Kyle Mooney shows up and does a thing and everyone wishes he wouldn’t do things. (Score: 5.5 out of 10)

Hump or Dump — The episode continues right along with its questionable subject material. In this dating game show, two guys get dumped, and one guy gets humped. Charles Barkley’s character is playing to win, and he does so by reminding the female contestant repeatedly that if she doesn’t pick him, he’ll kill himself. That. Is. The. Joke. (Watch here) (Score: 2 out of 10)

Constuction Workers — A group of construction workers who typically catcall women instead decide to spend the day pretending what kind of clothes they would wear if they were women, and what dress they might wear to the Oscars. I would not call it funny, but at least no one threatens to kill themselves. (Watch here) (Score: 3 out of 10)

Last Call — We haven’t seen Sheila in a while, and this comes in as probably the best sketch of the night, in spite of Barkley’s poor line delivery. In fact, it actually makes this skit better. And gross. So hilariously gross. (Score: 7.5 out of 10)