Drake pulled double duty as host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live last night for the second time. Drake was promoting his newest album, Views, released late last month, and performed “One Dance” and “Hype.” (He also apparently shaved his beard for the occasion.)
In his previous stint hosting SNL, Drake proved that he was capable of delivering an energetic, self-aware performance; he was down to look silly, try impressions, and to poke fun at himself and his reputation, at times showing hints of Justin Timberlake-like potential.
That said, by Justin Timberlake’s second time hosting SNL, he already had recurring sketches, including the mascots and The Barry Gibb Talk Show, and he also helped drop “Dick In A Box” with Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island. Drake had slightly less help than that for his second time hosting, but still delivered a solid episode filled with good bits.
Drake’s been threatening a return to acting, and based on his SNL appearances, he still has the talent to do so—he just still doesn’t have a “Dick In A Box”-sized legacy to to take with him. Until then, we’ve always got Rahat.
Below are some of the episode’s highlights:
Drake wants to be more than a meme.
Monologues tend to be a weak point for 90% of SNL hosts (outside of Louis C.K.), but so far, Drake is 2 for 2. In a song, Drake acknowledged his propensity to pop up up in memes on the internet (e.g. for “Hotline Bling” or for the Views album cover), and outside of an odd portion where he claimed Rihanna was coming out (she did not), this mostly worked.
Drake’s got beef (and loves Josh Gad).
This was another winner, with Drake starting Meek Mill-type beefs with half the staff of SNL, including Lorne Michaels himself (who calls Drake “Drizzy,” which alone might be worth the price of admission).
Captain Tornado is your next American Ninja Warrior.
This sketch was less of a showcase for Drake, but featured some of the show’s best physical comedy in ages in a hilarious depiction of what happens when things go wrong on American Ninja Warrior. “It’s almost like his heart’s in the right place, but his body’s absolute junk!”
Weekend Update keeps the focus on Trump.
I rarely include Weekend Update in these highlights, but Colin Jost and Michael Che been on a tear as of late, delivering SNL’s sharpest takes on Donald Trump (as the audience typically has affection for Darrell Hammond’s sleazy impression). This week, Kate McKinnon returns as Olga Povlatsky to comment on Trump’s similarities to Vladimir Putin, as well as an excellent Leslie Jones appearance and another round of Jay Pharaoh’s hip-hop impressions, including a cameo from Drake.
A Canadian on Black Jeopardy.
This may not have even been the best edition of Black Jeopardy, with most of the jokes coming at the expense of Drake’s Canadian-ness, but it featured some of the harshest digs in recent memory. Some of Kenan Thompson’s lines were so pointed, they got groans and gasps from the audience. That never happens!
Drake plays the only chaperone who's actually cool.
This one was a 10-to-1 sketch, but featured some of Drake’s best character work of the episode. In a somewhat-Hulk Hoganish getup, Drake plays a chaperone at a high school dance, but quickly devolves into telling fantasies about going back in time and befriending notable criminals and terrorists before they can commit their crimes.