Kim Kardashian West hosts SNL

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Loren Savage, Writer

Kim Kardashian West hosted the second episode of Saturday Night Live’s forty-seventh season on Oct. 9. When it was first announced she was hosting, I was excited but also worried it would be a complete mess. Despite my love for Kardashian West, I didn’t know how she would perform in a sketch comedy show.

Before watching the episode the Sunday after it aired, I had high hopes. I had heard some good things already from social media and news headlines, though I was still apprehensive. I couldn’t shake the question, why Kim Kardashian West? I was also afraid that the writers would rely too much on jokes about her family, brand, or ex-husband. I didn’t want the big joke to be, “Look, a Kardashian is hosting SNL!” Writers on the show will often draw from the personal lives of their hosts but sometimes it gets taken too far, making it become the whole show.

Starting off strong, Kardashian West’s monologue was great. During the show, there were many laugh-out-loud moments (which is rare for me even with my favorite comedians.) She mentioned how surprised she was when they asked her to host, brought up the infamous “momager,” poked fun at her sisters and joked about her recent divorce from rapper, Kanye West.

Kardashian West’s jokes about OJ Simpson killed me, figuratively. “Want to take a stab in the dark about who it was,” said Kardashian West when joking about how her father, Robert Kardashian, had introduced her to Simpson, “ … but OJ does leave a mark, or several, or none at all. I still don’t know.” Kardashian West has since been criticized for the jokes.

Kardashian West pretended to announce she was running for president. Then took it back, saying, “We can’t have three failed politicians in one family,” joking about her ex-husband’s presidential campaign last year and Kaitlyn Jenners’ attempt to run for governor of California.

During her monologue, she seemed relaxed, rarely looking nervous during the show. She seemed comfortable on stage and the jokes didn’t sound forced. While many of the jokes were about her family, they never took the spotlight off her.

I liked the majority of the sketches Kardashian West was in, but there were a few that didn’t seem to hit the mark. Though I didn’t like these sketches, they were not bad because of her. In every sketch, she delivered her lines well and fully understood what to do. Her delivery was funny. My problems with the sketches didn’t come from any of the acting but more from the writing. I could tell that they didn’t want to solely make jokes about her family but also didn’t know what sketches to write that weren’t directly about her life.

There were only two sketches I did not like: “Jasmine and Aladdin” and “Lotto Drawing.” In “Jasmine and Aladdin.” I thought the writing was bad and I didn’t find it funny at all. It seemed as if the premise of the sketch was created by an immature middle schooler. In “Lotto Drawing,” the sketch was funny at first, but then became repetitive and predictable. It should have been shorter or cut out completely.

The only one that looked slightly stiff was the star-studded sketch, “The Dream Guy.” While watching, I could tell Kardashian West was reading off of cue cards. I do not blame her- sometimes you can tell the cast members and non-actor hosts do the same.

Regardless, the rest of the sketches were phenomenal! They were well written and Kardashian West played her roles well. The sketch called “The People’s Kourt” was one of my favorites. It stars Kardashian West playing her older sister, Kourtney Kardashian, as a judge who hosts a television court show. It features her sister Khloe Kardashian and her mother, Kris Jenner, as themselves. Cast member Heidi Gardner plays Kardashian West in her famous all-black Met Gala outfit. Musical guest Halsey plays her sister Kendall Jenner and cast member Melissa Villaseñor plays her sister Kylie Jenner. It jokes about her “momager” Kris and pregnant sister Kylie, along with her sister Kourtney and Kourtneys’ musician boyfriend Travis Barker.

“The Dream Guy” was another sketch I enjoyed. The Bachelor parody had several famous guest stars such as Amy Schumer, Tyler Cameron, Blake Griffin and Chris Rock. Kardashian- West’s delivery was great and the guest stars didn’t take away from the sketch at all. The last sketch, “Skims Commercial,” was good too. It wasn’t my favorite sketch, but it was a funny play on Kardashian West’s shapewear company, Skims.

Kardashian West’s mother, Kris Jenner, made appearances in two sketches. I did not like her appearance in either of them. I understand that she is not an actor, but her acting seemed very forced. In the “A People’s Kourt” sketch, Jenner had some trouble getting through some of her lines. I like that Jenner made some appearances, but her performance was lacking. I wish I had more positive things to say about Jenner because her being on the show really fit the “momager” narrative.

Unlike her mother, Kardashian West was very natural on stage. Not only in her line delivery but also in her body language. I think the fact that she looked comfortable made a big difference in her performance. She was very confident on stage and maneuvered sketches with ease. She very well may have been freaking out on the inside, but she never let the audience know.

I was pleasantly surprised by Kardashian West’s performance on the show. Like most people, I thought she was going to do poorly, but unlike most people I wanted her to succeed. I just didn’t know how well she would do in a comedy show surrounded by other comedians. She had the potential to be overshadowed, but she never was. Kardashian West was the star of every sketch she was in.

I think this episode led to a tone shift of the entire show. I found the last two seasons of SNL to have poor writing and bad acting, but something about this episode felt very new. I think it would be extremely wise for the show to have her back.

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