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Idris Elba Delivers a Modest, Fitfully Amusing 'SNL'

By Dustin Rowles | TV | March 10, 2019 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | March 10, 2019 |


Cold Open — Gayle King (Leslie Jones) interviews R. Kelly (Kenan Thompson) about the allegations leveled against him. The interview is a lot like a Trump speech, in that it’s almost impossible to satirize it, but Kenan is so good here that it mostly works, anyway. (Score: 6.5 out 10)

Monologue — Idris shares The Idris origins story — he started as a bouncer at Caroline’s Comedy Club — and while it is not particularly funny, it is sweet and endearing. (Watch Here) (Score: 5.5 out of 10)

Bok Bok — This ad for a fried-chicken franchise with a mascot who looks like MoMo is quick, funny, and to the point, and elicits a couple of very big laughs. (Score: 7 out of 10)

The Impossible Hulk — After being hit by gamma radiation in a failed experiment, Dr. Bruce Banner (Idris Elba) transforms into an emboldened white lady (Cecily Strong) whenever he is threatened. It’s a spectacularly funny idea but sadly way too watered down in execution (Score: 6 out of 10)

PowerPoint — Two middle-aged women (Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant) struggle to make a PowerPoint presentation. Aidy and Kate always make a fantastic pairing, and again, there’s a great idea here, but it’s middling in execution. (Watch here) (Score: 5 out of 10)

Weekend Update

“Update” is a lot like this show itself tonight: Funny and likable, but not in any way memorable, except for Pete Davidson’s segment (also, Leslie Jones does a segment about her funeral here) (Score: 6.5 out of 10)

Remember that character played by Heidi Gardner who works at GOOP and doesn’t understand any of the products? She returns for another “Update” segment, but this time she’s joined by Gwyneth Paltrow, who sadly doesn’t play herself, but another GOOP employee.

Pete Davidson then comes on and makes some points about listening to the music of Michael Jackson and R. Kelly, and then not-so-subtly tells everyone complaining about he and Kate Beckinsale’s age difference to f**k off.

Can I Play That? — Actors (Idris Elba, Cecily Strong, Beck Bennett) play a game where they choose if they can or cannot play a certain role. The skit satirizes both Twitter and #CancelCulture and I can’t say that I hated it (that Rami Malek joke was super solid). (Score: 7 out of 10)

Soccer Player — Two soccer commentators (Mikey Day, Alex Moffat) try to interview a very an obtuse soccer player (Idris Elba). He’s very dumb, and the interview is a disaster, but not really the fun kind of disaster. (Watch Here) (Score: 4 out of 10)

Gold Diggers — Two men (Kenan Thompson, Idris Elba) introduce a friend (Chris Redd) to the world of WNBA gold diggers. A fun idea but a very mediocre sketch. (Watch here) (Score: 4 out of 10)

Supportive Friend — An aspiring actor (Beck Bennett) struggles with some good news his friend (Idris Elba) shares. Nah. (Score: 3 out of 10) (Watch Here)

Magic Show — A magician (Idris Elba) performs a show with a substitute assistant (Leslie Jones) who is bigger than his previous assistant, for whom the magic tricks were designed. There is some OK physical comedy from Jones on this, but it’s a crap skit. (Watch here) (Score: 3 out of 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.

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