SNL Takes Down Racist Reactions To Beyoncé's "Formation"

Melissa McCarthy, fresh off her Golden Globe nomination for Spy and ahead of her all-girl Ghostbusters reboot, found time to host Saturday Night Live for the fourth time. She’s as close to a sure thing as you get as host, having been nominated for an Emmy each of the previous three times she’s hit the stage at Rockefeller Center. The question wasn’t if she’d be funny, it was how she’d be funny. Would she and Leslie Jones rock a Ghostbusters sketch? Would she address her conspicuous absence from the Gilmore Girls? And how exactly would Kanye cap off a week that included a fashion show, a delayed new album, and a renewed beef with Taylor?

The answers were, sadly, no to both Ghostbusters and Gilmore Girls, but McCarthy and Jones did have a lot of screen time. As for Kanye, he had some help from his friends, including Young Thug, Chance The Rapper, and Kelly Price; then, he announced his album had dropped on his website.

Here are three moments from last night’s SNL worth watching:

1. The Day Beyoncé Turned Black: This movie trailer satire spoofed how white people reacted to last week’s "Formation" video premiere and the resulting chaos that exploded everyone’s social media feeds. White people are shown running frightened through the streets, just like in a disaster movie, unable to wrap their heads around a political Queen Bey. “Maybe this song isn’t for us — but usually, everything is!” Cecily Strong screams in horror. The movie’s rating? NC-17 for white people, and G for Black people.

2. Rachel from Friends: In a standout moment from Weekend Update, Vanessa Bayer pulled out her spot-on Jennifer Aniston as Rachel from Friends. She rocks the hair, the turtleneck, and some denim overalls as she invites Colin Jost to see Phoebe perform at Central Perk. She is interrupted several times by transitions and music stings reminiscent of the '90s sitcom. She even has a baby — but only for a second. “You have a baby?” Jost asks in surprise. “Sometimes!” Look away from the screen and you just might think it was Aniston at the Update desk. Bayer’s that good.

3. The Art of The Pickup: This flashback to VH1’s reality show had Cecily Strong donning the red velvet jacket and feather boa to take the lead in coaching women on how to pick up guys in a bar. Her tips include "negging," being sexually aggressive, and setting future plans. McCarthy plays an awkward and strange character named Rhonda with a Members Only jacket and giant glasses. Her pickup lines are increasingly weird, and she licks and bites and generally harasses Kyle Mooney and Kenan Thompson. The sketch is funny enough on its own, but seeing the usually stone-faced Leslie Jones barely keeping it together, and sometimes not keeping it together at all, with her Ghostbuster’s castmate is priceless.

Bonus: Kanye West was saving up the drop of The Life of Pablo for this moment. Watch his performance of "Ultralight Beam," a new track from the album:


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