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Taraji P. Henson Hosted 'SNL' With Cameos from Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Billy Crystal and Big Bird

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | April 12, 2015 |

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | April 12, 2015 |

Here in the introduction is where I like to highlight the sketches you should definitely watch from the episode. This week, I got nothing. If you have nothing else to do with your life, maybe watch the Cold Open for McKinnon’s HIllary Clinton sketch. SKIP EVERYTHING ELSE.

Hillary Election Video Cold Open — There’s two great things about HIllary Clinton running for President: Kate McKinnon and her crazypants impression have the potential to rival Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin in terms of influencing the election, and it potentially means seeing Darrell Hammond continue to trot out his Bill Clinton impression (and why not? He’s there, and you can’t beat Hammond’s Bill Clinton impression). I’m only sad that they got Vanessa Bayer — who played Hillary Clinton prior to McKinnon — to play the assistant in the sketch. You’re just rubbing it in! (Score: 6/10)

Taraji P. Henson — Goddamnit, Taraji: Did we really need ANOTHER musical monologue? Henson sings about finally making it, i.e., getting to a point in her career where white people recognize her. It’s boosted, however, by Kenan’s line about Good Burger 7 and a gospel choir, of which I am always a sucker. (Score: 5/10)

Depend Legends — Adult diaper ads will always be compared to “Oops, I Crapped My Pants,” and they will always come up wanting. This one — with elderly-friendly celebrity pictures on the diapers — is no different. (Score: 3/10)

Teacher Trial — Headline news is covering the civil trial of a mom suing a teacher for having sexual relations with her son. The joke here is incredibly obvious: Everyone in the court — including the judge — is basically giving the kid a metaphorical high five for banging his teacher. Basically, this is the comment section on every local news story about hot teachers sleeping with students. Who thought this up in the writer’s room? Who said, “You know what would be funny? A sketch about congratulating a high school kid for banging his teacher?” And worse, who said, “That’s great. I’ve never heard that one before”? (Score: 3/10)

Home Trailer Parody — It’s one of those pre-taped segments where all the SNL cast members get to trot out an impression. The impressions are good. The sketch is not. The silent Die Antwoord impression was my favorite. (Score: 4/10)

QVC — Another stinker. There’s barely a joke here, just Henson and Kate McKinnon doing bizarre, exaggerated voices. A sketch needs more than funny voices. I COULD BE WATCHING ANOTHER EPISODE OF DAREDEVIL RIGHT NOW. (Score: 2/10)

Game of Thrones Parody — This season, an eighth kingdom is introduced: South Centros (directed by John Singleton). It’s black Game of Thrones, and it is a terrible and an awful waste of a Nikolaj Coster-Waldau cameo. The premise is obvious, but man, it should’ve been a slam dunk. (Score: 2/10)

Weekend Update — I’ll give tonight’s “Weekend Update” this much: Michael Che made a lot of jokes that a white anchor could not, and in some ways, he’s very much the anti-McKinnon: Great material, bad delivery. (Score: 6/10)

Cecelia Jimenez — Another McKinnon character doing a strange accent. She’s commenting on the Lucille Ball statute statue. McKinnon gives it the old college try, but it sputters. (Score: 3/10)

Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy — Oh, god. Not again. At least there’s a cameo. Jacob brings out her Dad, played by Billy Crystal. It does not make it any funnier. (Score: 2/10. Nope. Nevermind. Score: 1/10)

Hollywood Game Night — I mean, I love that they’re putting Kate McKInnon front and center. Unfortunately, she’s now the face of one of the season’s worst episodes. This is another opportunity for cast members to do more impressions in the hopes that we will ignore the bad writing, but IT CANNOT BE IGNORED. Also, no one should be doing an impression of Nick Offerman, least of which is Beck Bennett. Henson’s Wanda Sykes is the only thing in the vicinity of funny in this sketch. (Score: 2/10)

Flawless —- Henson is trying her damndest. She’s really trying, y’all. She’s trying to Cookie-up the writing, but she’s on an island. (Score: 4/10)

Sesame Street Parody — It’s Sesame Street with Cookie from Empire. I really want to like it. I wish I could like it. But I can’t. Because it’s awful, and another waste of Sesame Street characters. (Score: 3/10)

There Own League — *sigh* There was a nice misdirect, at least. (Score: 4/10)

Connectetron — In order to form robot champion Connectatron, Mavis (Taraji P. Henson) has to attach her spaceship as the left leg but she’s not really feeling it. *head shake* (Score: 2/10)

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.