Country singer Blake Shelton hosted last night’s yokel-y episode of Saturday Night Live, undoubtedly because NBC pressured the show to bring him on to cross-promote The Voice. It was a lot like when athletes host the show, which is to say: Shelton was out of his depth.
Worse still, instead of writing good sketches and attempting to fit Shelton into them, most of the sketches were tailored to Shelton. That meant: Country songs, Hee Haw, The Voice, and farmers. Odder still, three or four sketches made uncomfortable jokes highlighting the fact that Shelton — or at least people like Shelton — don’t have a lot in common with black people. It was as though the writers — unfamiliar with Shelton’s world — wrote sketches rooted in Southern stereotypes, and then attempted to write themselves into the sketches based on what they thought stereotypical Southerners might think about city folk and black people.
Ultimately, nothing really worked, except “Parole Board” (kind of), which at least had the element of surprise, and Riblet’s appearance on “Weekend Update” as a replacement for Michael Che, because at least it wasn’t Michael Che, who continued with his attitude of apathetic smugness.
Ironically, in the end, it was only Blake Shelton that came out unscathed. He came off as a likable enough guy who read cue cards and did the best he could with limited sketch comedy talent. Shelton wasn’t good, but he wasn’t really expected to be. It was the rest of the cast who were responsible for lifting him up, and in that regard, they failed spectacularly.
Here’s my one-word review of each sketch, because one word is all that each sketch deserves.
Patriots Press Conference Cold Open — Obvious. (Score: 3/10)