As Don Pardo Would Say, Lou-Day-Chris!!!
There was a while were Ludacris’s Word Of Mouf CD was a soundtrack to serval aspects of my life. Whether my roommate was bumping the CD in his car or if it was the background noise for one of our parties, tonight’s host’s humorous use of lyrics had us quoting many songs, even the other roommates who were huge fans of rap music. I was/am a fan of rap, so I was entirely on board at the time, and pretty excited about tonight’s viewing.
My interest was also piqued during the pre-viewing process when the sketch list alone made this episode out to sound like it was going to be a pretty funny show. Once again, I felt that the opening political sketch bashing Bush started the show in a hole because it bums really bums me out how he’s now being treated as a national treasure because he’s not Trump as if people forgot how Bush was the tipping point where our political system officially became a complete joke.
This frustration didn’t last long because the “Rickdiculous” joke from Ludacris’s opening monolog was the first time in a while that a host’s introduction got me to laugh out loud. From that point on, I was satisfied with the rest of the night. I think one of the main things that really helped was, how this was also the first time in a while where the host seemed to genuinely be having fun while still putting out a good performance.
Sure there have been many recent hosts who seemed happy to be hosting the show and may have also seemed to enjoy the process, but Luda’s enthusiasm felt more like a little kid given their first chance to steer a car than that of an adult who just enjoyed doing their work. I think it helps that he was new to acting and not some acting superstar who was just there to promote their latest gig or have hosted enough in the past to where their performances can start to feel a bit old hat.
Not only did I like Ludacris’s performance but I’m also starting to feel that this mostly, somewhat, new cast has finally accepted that they are now in full control after all of the old-timers from last season had left the show. Just last night I was saying how the episode was average, but it did also feel like a tipping point where the season would go from being just so-so to being really good.
So far, I feel right about my prediction, but we’ll have to see how the rest of the season plays out. Until then, it’s now time to wrap this thing up by sharing what I saw, as I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with fake news break-in for An NBC Special Report where Jason Sudeikis took over the role of George W. Bush from Will Forte in order to announce to America that he had accidentally started another war during his recent visit to Vietnam that was supposed to promote peace within the region. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
Ludacris then officially opened the show with a monolog about the times when our host differentiates himself as rapper, Ludacris, versus when he uses he birthname, like when he acted in the movie Crash. He also shared how the hip-hop persona came about before being interrupted by Kenan Thompson as a childhood friend named Rick “Rickdiculous” Barnes.
This was followed by a fake ad for an album called Young Douglas: Hypin' the Classics where Ludacris played a rapper named Young Douglas who provided the backing tracks on classic hits by cast members as contemporary artists like Jason Sudeikis as Harry Connick Jr.
Dr. Archibald Bitchslap had Ludacris in the titular role so that he and his wife, played by Maya Rudolph, showed troubled couples how to save their marriages with the help of Bitchslap’s bitchslap technique.
This was followed by a parody of The O'Reilly Factor where Darrell Hammond as O’Reilly shared his plans to boycott Def Jam Records for signing Ludacris to their label in the middle of the infamous, O’Reilly vs. Ludacris feud. Of course, this was ridiculous, as if O’Reilly ever supported Def Jam in the first place.
This was followed by a fake ad for Booty Bidness where Ludacris promoted a new line of club clothing that businesswomen could wear to the office as well as while out for the night.
The Blizzard Man featured Andy Samberg as the titular white rapper who Ludacris brought on for a track on his latest album in order to add to the magic of the song only there was nothing about this Blizzard Man’s style that would’ve fit in with the world of hip-hop.
Ludacris then switched to musical guest mode to perform Shake Your Moneymaker.
Once again, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Bill Hader dropped by as John Mark Karr because he took offense to O.J. Simpson’s If I Did It book (now titled, I Did It, after the Goldman’s won the rights) because he wanted to take credit for being the real killer. Jason Sudeikis also stopped by as, angry basketball coach, Bobby Knight, in order to yell at Seth Meyers for making too obvious of a Spiderman joke. Maya Rudolph then wrapped up the guest section of the news as a teen magazine editor who applauded anorexia before she ate her lip gloss because she was feeling starved.
Poolwatch had Ludacris as a pimped out lifeguard who had to carefully remove all of his bling and expensive designer clothing before he could respond to drowning lady in the pool he was paid to watch.
Hair Transplant had Ludacris as a shady hair transplant practitioner who tried to make a quick exit from his makeshift office/trailer after releasing Will Forte who was going for an Elton John-style look but ended up with an afro that filled the area of his male-pattern-baldness.
Lesbian Cruise Ship had Ludacris as a boat captain who was excited to steer a cruise ship filled with lesbians because he thought it would play out the same way that it does in porn, only to be disappointed by the fact that the trip ended up being more of a floating Lilith Fair.
Ludacris then took to the stage with Mary J. Blige to perform Runaway.
Old Friends had Ludacris and Darrell Hammond as two old friends who sat at a lunch counter and complained about just how hectic all of our modern “conveniences” are making their once simple lives.
Finally, Ludacris closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Though I was confident from the get-go that this would be a fun episode I was surprised to find that it was my favorite so far this year with the help of sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Old Friends sketch because it was one of those end-of-the-night-sketches that might not be laugh-out-loud funny but was totally adorable, especially now the I am also old. Next, I really liked the Rickdiculous joke from the monolog because it was the first monolog in a really long time that I found funny enough to be list worthy, let alone number one. Finally, I was a fan of the Poolwatch sketch because I liked the idea of Ludacris as a lifeguard who was too decked out in bling to urgently jump into the pool.