VIDEO: Chris Rock goes there, spoofing terrorists on ‘Saturday Night Live’
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More than once, host Chris Rock launched salvos at the touchy topic of terrorism this weekend on “Saturday Night Live.” Some on Twitter were alarmed, as though this were some kind of surprise. Like the guy who explained the difference between black people and n—–s and who tweeted one July 4 that it was “white people’s independence day” was going to play it safe.
The fireworks started with the monologue, where Rock surely vexed his New York audience by calling the Boston Marathon bombing “the most frightening, sadistic terrorist act ever.” From imagining the frustration of running a 26-mile race that’s bombed at the finish line, he segued into the building at the site of the former World Trade Center, the Freedom Tower, or “the Never Goin’ in There Tower.” The only way to get people to enter, he said, would be to pack it with unavoidable offices like the IRS. “Who’s the corporate sponsor?” he asked. “Target?”
A later sketch cast Rock and Kyle Mooney as ISIS leaders pitching the “Shark Tank” investors to buy 1 percent of their Islamic State. Having tapped into the profitable business of “stealing oil,” they weren’t really in need of income. They just needed help because “we’re growing too fast.” Brevity helped the bit work, along with its depiction of the craven sharks seriously contemplating the cash they could make off suffering; Mark Cuban (Taran Killam) passes only because “genocidal regimes are a very risky business.” And when the militants offer to make his Fubu the official retailer of the Islamic State, Daymond John (Kenan Thompson) saucily replies, “I’m listening …”
More thoughts …
• Speaking of controversy, Weekend Update co-anchor Michael Che made no mention of last week’s outcry following his tweets making light of a video depicting a woman enduring catcalls while walking New York streets.
• A long way from his days playing youthful upstarts, Rock twice played old fuddy-duddies tonight: a dad shutting down the sexy dance tutorial his daughter (Sasheer Zamata) is posting on YouTube, and a husband irking his wife (Leslie Jones) by resisting new technology like the cloud and online ticket buying. That latter scene ground to an uncomfortable halt (not seen in the clip below, apparently from dress rehearsal) when cast newbie Jones walked out a doorway, walked back in and spent five long, silent seconds confusedly looking around.
• A well-received commercial parody offered a drug called Swiftamine, for the vertigo induced when you discover you like Taylor Swift. Like the singer, it’s pink and bubbly.
• The cold open, a misguided bit of topical satire as usual, came to life briefly when Kate McKinnon arrived as quarantined nurse Kaci Hickox, bragging about working a kissing booth and handing out loose M&M’s. McKinnon sold it hard.
• The second installment of “How’s He Doing?,” the PBS panel show for black Obama apologists last seen when Kerry Washington hosted a year ago, had a funny run of gags about misdeeds that still wouldn’t prevent these people from supporting the president. And it had five black actors, a volume seldom seen on “SNL” except for the rare music group, or the time they stuffed the control room with brothers to fool host Jesse Jackson.
• After a rerun of Bill Hader’s nostalgia-heavy episode next weekend, the next live episode airs Nov. 15 with host Woody Harrelson, who last took the Studio 8H stage in 1992.