Chris Rock may portray a washed-up comedian in his latest movie "Top Five," but he didn't even need a mic stand to be comfortable in the stand-up saddle last night. Rock took the "Saturday Night Live" stage (November 1) for the second time, having done the hosting duties back in 1996 in addition to being a castmember from 1990-1993 (along with fellow "SNL" bad boys Adam Sandler, David Spade, Chris Farley and Rob Schneider).
Just like some of his bold stand-up sets, Rock didn't shy away from joking about race, terrorism and gender inequality, to name a few.
Rock came out swinging, setting up his first monologue joke to be about the frightening, sadistic terrorist attack that occurred during last year's Boston Marathon: when people raced for 26 miles and got to the finish line only to hear "Run!" The mature subject matter continued with the arrogance of the Freedom Tower, or the "never going in there" Tower, the commercialization of Christmas (even though it's Jesus' birthday and he's the least materialistic person ever), and fending off web threats Rock received after attending an anti-gun event where he then realized "Oh my god. I need a gun."
Prince's Royal Performance
We're going to detour straight to the musical portion of the show because Prince being Prince, he couldn't just do things the normal way. 30 years after "Purple Rain" the renowned musician brought girl group trio 3RDEYEGIRL, performing an unprecedented medley of hits in an eight-minute stretch. Guitar chords opened on a smoke-filled screen, where Prince emerged wearing glasses with three shades (a characteristic of his latest album with the trio, PELECTRUMELECTRUM). He began with the groovy, funky beat of "Clouds," singing into a mic stand with the "unpronouncable symbol." The futuristic vibes continue into "Marz," a fast-paced track where everyone shreds in front of an electric blue background and a lava lamp-supported keyboard. Continuing past the midnight hour, Prince and co. end things with "Another Love," a slightly slower tune which only gives him room to keep jamming out. Do you hear that sound? That's the sound of doves crying.
Okay now we can get back to the comedy.
Do The Nae Nae
Sasheer Zamata is Janelle, who is livestreaming her dancing Vlog from her YouTube channel. She's teaching her three million viewers how to do the Nae Nae, which originated from early African dance and Miley Cyrus (who apparently has left twerking to the past). Fatherly Rock interrupts, disapproving of Janelle's dance moves and her commenters' uhh, interest in his daughter. Rock mostly gets distracted with the filters, while we appreciate Janelle's #FLAWLESS tee and fierce Beyonce background poster.
The sketch features an entirely African American cast, where black voters take a frank, honest look at President Obama and ask "How's He Doing?" Kenan Thompson hosts the show that's "too early for football, but too late for church." Obama's approval rating has lowered with blacks to 92 percent, where prominent social figures played by Jay Pharoah, Sasheer Zamata, Leslie Jones and Rock discuss POTUS' success (or lack thereof) with Ebola, immigration and Isis. Even if he radically changed his hairstyle to a jerry curl and let daughters Sasha and Malia sass him when they're watching "Scandal," Obama is still better than voting for Mitt Romney.
Lights, Camera, Medical Action
The commercial parody spotlights the GoPro camera, instead resourcefully renaming it the "GoProbe" where extreme surfers, skateboarders and snowboarders (Taran Killam, Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett) get colonoscopies with the aid of the new technology.
Pete Davidson Gets An STD
"Guy Code"s Pete Davidson is back at the Update desk as a Resident Young Person, this time talking about STD prevention. (We know he's already a frequenter of Free Clinics so we're kind of not surprised.) When Davidson notices something is up, down there, he sends a picture of his penis to his mother who is a nurse. "My penis should be the most important to her in every way except one." Things get weird when Davidson's mom is just a school nurse, but in slightly good news it turns out he's just allergic to condoms. (That's not an excuse to not wear them, Lambskin condoms can do the trick if you're allergic).
In a parody of the business pitch show "Shark Tank," the panel of judges is unimpressed with Aidy Bryant's breakfast pastas. In comes Isis, a way to rid the world of filthy Western pigs. The proposal will cost $400 million for a one percent stake in a new kingdom that will invest in crushing the West. Crack social media and word of mouth are keys to the organization's success, but even with the offer of FUBU becoming the official retailer of the Islamic state, none of the sharks bite at the offer.
This Is A (Helpful) Stick-Up
Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney and Bobby Moynihan are set to rob a bank, but they just can't help but be accommodating to patrons in need. An elderly Kenan Thompson is gently placed sitting in a chair instead of standing with a walker, Sasheer Zamata is offered a choice of sparkling or still water after being anxiety-ridden at the robbery, and Aidy Bryant's movie popcorn is buttered and her shrieking is not at the sight of danger, but a surprise birthday cake. The polite robbers do a farewell song and dance thanking everyone for their cooperation.
It's the 1990s and Cecily Strong and Kate McKinnon are wearing shoulder pads and giving out tips for women in the workplace. Tape Number 5 shows women how to deal with diversity with a workplace simulation. Vanessa Bayer is overcompensating with Rock, which makes her seem like a nervous biggot. The solution is to compliment him, but she takes it a little too far by suggesting "I honestly bet you're big down there," to which Rock responds only his wife knows about that stereotype. Bayer must now out-diversify him, so she shows up in a wheelchair and declares that she's a lesbian, joined by a butch, denim-clad Aidy Bryant.
Woody Harrelson and Kendrick Lamar will host and perform on November 15.