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TV and Movies

'Saturday Night Live' Gives Issa Rae Far Too Little Screen Time in a Subpar Episode

Issa Rae was meant to host Saturday Night Live back in the spring, before coronavirus shut down production on the sketch show in the studio. But Lorne Michaels brought her back to make good on their original plans. Unfortunately, this meant she was forced to host an episode where political satire is taking up the space of three sketches, giving her far fewer opportunities to shine throughout the night. Even the sketches that managed to include her didn’t make use of her comedic potential, which only added to the frustration that this subpar episode brought to the table.

Anyway, let’s look at the best and worst sketches from the Issa Rae hosted Saturday Night Live.

The Best

5-Hour Empathy – This is brilliant satire. In one of SNL‘s traditional commercial parodies, this sketch tackles the struggle that white people have with confronting their own lack of understanding years of systemic oppression and ever-present racism. This is one of those great sketches that confronts a significant social issue with great comedy. Kenan Thompson’s presence as the commercial’s narrator who keeps the subjects from getting off easy is the icing on an already fantastic cake.

eBay – With a show like SNL, whose reputation comes from being live, it can be a little frustrating when the best sketches are the pre-recorded sketches. But great comedy is great comedy, and in this sketch, everyone who has been cooped up at home during the coronavirus pandemic gets taken to task for spending money on things that they thought would occupy them at home. How many things have we bought that have just sat collecting dust since we bought them? The sad look on Chris Redd’s face when he says, “Guitars hurt, nobody tells you that,” really got me.

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TV and Movies

‘Saturday Night Live’ Ratings Slip With Host Issa Rae, Remain Above 2019 Levels

The Oct. 17 telecast of Saturday Night Live, with host Issa Rae and musical guest Justin Bieber, drew a 4.5 rating household Live+Same Day rating in the 44 metered local markets and a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating in the 25 markets with local people meters.

That was down a notch from last week’s show hosted by Bill Burr (4.7, 2.2), which in turn was off from the season premiere two weeks ago emceed by Chris Rock (5.6, 2.9). Despite the week-to-week slide, SNL, buoyed by the final stretch in the Presidential election cycle, remains up double digits over last year’s October average (+15% in households, +18% in 18-49).

SNL is a big delayed viewer gainer. The Oct. 3 season opener has already more than doubled its 18-49 rating with delayed viewing, growing by +130% with digital and linear viewership to date, from a 1.84 in Live+ Same Day to a 4.24. The season premiere also has added +6.0 million viewers overall, going from 8.2 million to 14.2 million.

In addition to the Cold Open skewering the two dueling Town Hall specials, the most popular videos from last night as of Sunday morning include the opening segment of Weekend Update focused on Donald Trump, and the Weekend Update skit featuring impersonations of three of Trump’s adult children.

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Lifestyle

SNL: I Feel Like a Proud Best Friend Watching Issa Rae's Celebratory Opening Monologue

Issa Rae was Saturday Night Live‘s host of honor on Oct. 17, and, unsurprisingly, the 35-year-old star kicked off the show with a charming monologue. She started by honoring Studio 8H comedy legends Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Molly Shannon before reflecting on her Hollywood journey. She specifically reminisced about the season one premiere of her series, Insecure, which aired shortly after the 2016 presidential election. “It just felt really awkward for my life to be going so good, you know?” she said. “Like, it was rude for me to be peaking right when democracy was collapsing.”

The actress then likened her professional ventures to high school, saying that she’s now in her senior year. “If doing my show for the last four years is like high school, then hosting SNL is my prom, and you guys are all my dates,” she added. I don’t know about you, but she sure beats my actual date to the prom (JK, I went with friends, but you get the point — in this house, we support Rae.) Watch her sweet monologue above!

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TV and Movies

‘SNL’: Bill Burr, Issa Rae To Host October Episodes; Musical Guests Include Morgan Wallen, Justin Bieber

NBC’s Saturday Night Live will be hosted by comic Bill Burr and actress Issa Rae this month, with country star Morgan Wallen and Justin Bieber set as musical guests.

Burr will guest host the Oct. 10 episode, with Wallen as his musical guest. Rae will host Oct. 17, with Bieber as musical guest.

Both episodes will air live coast-to-coast.

Monday Morning Podcast host Burr will be making his SNL debut,  as will Wallen, whose latest single “7 Summers” broke country music streaming records upon release.

Rae, creator, star and executive producer of HBO comedy series Insecure, also will be hosting for the first time. Bieber will make his fourth appearance as SNL musical guest. His latest track, “Holy,” featuring Chance the Rapper, reached #1 on the Spotify Global Chart and was streamed over 120 million times in its debut week.

Saturday Night Live is produced in association with Broadway Video. The creator and executive producer is Lorne Michaels.

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