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Chance the Rapper (center) performs his new Thanksgiving song with “Saturday Night Live” cast members during the episode of Nov. 18, 2017. | NBC

‘SNL’ host Chance the Rapper creates a new Thanksgiving anthem

Making America laugh wasn’t enough for Chance the Rapper in his debut as host of “Saturday Night Live.” The Chicago do-gooder also needed to make some cash.

But for good reason. “In the spirit of giving, I pledged to give $1 million to Chicago Public Schools,” he reminded the audience during his opening monologue. “The only problem is, I talked to my accountant, and I don’t have it. I need to make a lot of money very fast.”

His solution: Write a Thanksgiving song that will generate royalties year after year like “All I Want for Christmas” does. “I want to become the Mariah Carey of Thanksgiving,” the rapper said.

With that, he launched into a musical number he dedicated to all the “outcasts and weirdos” showing up for turkey feasts next week. Among the peculiar guests he cited: an uncle telling Bill Cosby jokes, a failed magician and a niece so sad about everyone’s failure to be “woke” that she cries.

“No one said it would be fun,” Chance sang in his endearing wobbly tenor as Leslie Jones walked in flashing something in her purse, “like when your Aunt Shavon showed you her gun.

Backing him up were a group of gospel-singing turkeys in choir robes.

“It’s Thanksgiving time, so say goodbye to all the rules,” he sang, cuing Kenan Thompson to arrive in a wheelchair. “Your uncle brought his oxygen and he’s chain-smoking Kools.”

Chance kept it casual in jeans and an everyday shirt in the monologue, forgoing his usual No. 3 cap (which did show up for his good-nights at show’s end). Though it was his first time hosting, Chance had appeared three times earlier on “SNL” — twice as musical guest and once to contribute to a Kanye West performance. On the show last December, he collaborated with Thompson on an Emmy-nominated music video about the last holiday season of the Obama administration, in the vein of Run-DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis.”

This time around, he proved his comic chops with enthusiasm and smooth timing in a variety of roles. Another music video had him again yearning for Obama. In flowing suits and surrounded by burning candles, Chance teamed with another Chicagoan, cast member Chris Redd, and Thompson to croon “Come Back, Barack,” Boyz II Men-style.

The same trio reunited to play a pioneering ’80s hip-hop group reminiscent of the old-school duo Horatio Sanz and Jerry Minor used to play in the 2000s. Rapper Common, appearing as himself, called them “the only rappers I know who were pro-crack.” Chance was Kool Kenny Blade, whose signature look was that “I never wore drawers.”

It was evident he did wear drawers later on as one of two high school kids (along with Mikey Day) overselling the cool of their dads’ presentation on Career Day. So excited were they about their pops’ gas station tank installation business that Day fell into and splintered a table, which Chance stripped down to his boxers.

Another sketch suggested the rapper has been cultivating a Steve Harvey impression much like Thompson’s. On a “Family Feud” bit, he was Harvey’s illegitimate son, a teenager with a loud suit and a bushy mustache, playing with an all-white family led by a woman acknowledged by Harvey as an old friend. The opposing team was led by Harvey’s wife (Jones, again demonstrating the bitter stare of a betrayed lover).

Chance’s youth also entered into a Batman parody that echoed his frequently voiced opinions about police conduct in minority neighborhoods. At Wayne Manor to pick up donated food with his mom (Jones), a young man (Chance) used his audience with Bruce Wayne to complain that Batman is being way too hard on the petty criminals of his community. He found support from other black visitors (Thompson and Redd) who all had remarkably similar stories about the Caped Crusader’s odd M.O.

Later in the show, Chance was amusing as a Knicks courtside reporter filling in at a Rangers game, despite zero knowledge of the NHL and a sensitivity to cold. All he could do was fake it with lines like, “As they say in hockey, ‘Let’s do that hockey.’ ”

More about this Saturday’s episode:

• The host was not part of the cold open, an imagined scenario of Julian Assange (Kate McKinnon) passing secrets to the Trump campaign in a parking garage in 2016. The bit was mainly a showcase for Mikey Day as Donald Trump Jr. and the North Shore’s Alex Moffat as his clueless brother Eric, whose Minions backpack served as the repository for the Wikileaks data.

• Answering speculation about how the show would handle a sexual harassment complaint about its former writer and performer Al Franken, Colin Jost was quick to flash the 2006 photo of the future U.S. senator groping a sleeping woman’s breasts and said, “I know this photo looks bad, but remember, it also is bad.”

He added, “Sure, this was taken before Franken ran for public office, but it was also taken after he was a sophomore in high school. It’s pretty hard to be like, ‘Come on, he didn’t know any better. He was only 55!’ ”

• Instead of the usual pair of performances, musical guest Eminem did just one, a nine-minute medley that started with his new single “Walk on Water” and continued with portions of his past hits “Stan” and “Love the Way You Lie.” All were duets with female singers (Beyonce, Dido and Rihanna, respectively) whose parts were covered Saturday by Skylar Grey. Eminem didn’t participate in any comedy bits.

• The next live episode on Dec. 2 sounds more suitable for St. Patrick’s Day, with Irish actress Saorise Ronan (“Brooklyn”) hosting and Irish supergroup U2 handling the music.