No one wants to write about the sequester, or read about the sequester, or joke about the sequester. But it's a big deal and we can't escape it, so we do our best to come up with something, anything. The Saturday Night Live team could only come up with a sketch hinging on a Village People joke.
The look on Jay Pharaoh's face says it all. The sequester may not be good for website traffic, but it lends itself well enough to an SNL cold open. This wasn't as dreadful as I expected it to be. It could have been a lot worse. Pharaoh's Obama explaining the cut backs after sequestration lets the whole cast get involved, quite literally. Jason Sudeikis as a Taco Bell employee saying they're adding more horse meat, coupled with Bobby Moynihan's weird blinking meat inspector, got laughs here. And you're always going to win points for Beowulf jokes, Aidy Bryant. The ending was a YMCA/Village People sight gag, because it's always 1993 somewhere.
Kevin Hart needs to learn to breeeeeath, man. Gear down, Kevin Hart. His monologue cenetered around a story about seeing a homeless man steal another guy's sandwich the last time he was in New York City. Also, he auditioned for SNL before he got famous. He did not get it. He made a very good case as to why in this monologue.
You're not a retired, old white lady, so you've probably never seen The Steve Harvey Show. But just know that Kenan Thompson's impression is so spot on. His voice is perfect. If you're in another room, you'd swear Steve Harvey was actually on the show. Points for accuracy here.
Guess who the new Pope is? Why it's Quvenzhané Wallis, of course. She can be real c...ardinal. What did you expect me to say there? They're always cardinals. Fred Armisen grimacing and flexing in Pope gear was your winning, successful sight gag of the night. Hart riding a cardinal like a horse was a close second, though.
This might be my favorite sketch of the night, if only because it gave my acid flashbacks to watching Fox Kids in my basement rec room and wiping ketchup chip dust on my sweatpants. Kevin Hart and Tim Robinson are hawking a Z-shirt in the most 90s commercial you've seen since, well, the 90s. The graffiti, the highlighter colors, the "coolness" of basketball, the fact that a Z-shirt is just a T-shirt with a Z on it. It's all so perfect. Everything falls apart when Hart starts asking, repeatedly, "is it an A-shirt," and so on and so forth, all the way down the alphabet. Robinson, who has been sneaky good all season, grabs him and asks him why he's doing it, or if there's any life left behind Hart's eyes. Dark stuff from a 90s T-shirt commercial parody, but we'll take it.
Is everyone on The Walking Dead racist? Probably. Was this sketch funny? Not really. Hart plays Lyle, a black guy who stumbles on the regular crew of the show. He asks to join their group, but gets bitten by a zombie while they're debating whether or not they should welcome him. When he starts to turn and they start to notice, Lyle accuses them being a travelling pack of racists. Can you imagine how awful being alone in the zombie apocalypse and then the first group of people you meet are a bunch of racists would be? That would be terrible. But no, they aren't crazy, Lyle is so damn zombified he's doing the dance from "Thriller," and chest bumping zombie bros. White guilt almost gets everyone killed, until Lyle lurches at them for "white people brains." This is pretty much how it would play out in real life.