Saturday Night Live experienced the genius of funnyman and beloved alum, Chris Rock, who made his triumphant return since leaving the show back in 1996.
That is a mighty long time, and it is hard to believe that it took almost twenty years to get Rock back in Studio 6H, but his seamless performance squashed any concerns about his ability to fit right back into the scheme of things.
His monologue was a weighty combination of the present, past and controversial, and in some cases, it seemed uncomfortably risqué especially when he dared to joke about the Ebola epidemic and the Boston Marathon bombing. The latter occurred last spring so it might have been a little too soon to tread those waters, and it seemed like the crowd and specifically Twitterverse didn’t quite give the response that was needed to vindicate Rock’s subject matter. Then there was the reference to 9/11, as Rock poked fun at the Freedom Tower, which has been under construction since 2008 – another touchy subject that perhaps could have been avoided but is a testament to Rock’s showmanship and dedication to his craft – a skill he no doubt shares with the late Joan Rivers.
But things took an upswing as he switched gears and tackled a territory that resonates with everyone – Christmas. This time the reaction was thunderous as Rock hilariously ridiculed the holiday season by pointing out it’s decline into commercialization. He also tackled Easter before diving into a parody of Shark Tank that featured him portraying a member of ISIS. All in all, having Chris Rock host SNL was gratifyingly entertaining and a welcomed trip down memory lane.
The musical guest of the night was none other than Prince, who warmed the crowd with the help of the group responsible for the production of his latest album – 3RDEYEGIRL He generously tackled a three-song medley and energetically juggled different instruments as if it were the easiest feat in the world.
The reviews of the night have been mixed but if you have a boundless sense of humor and an ear for good music – then you would have been sufficiently catered to.