Saturday Night Live Report Card: Season 43, Episode 14: Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley returns to SNL this week for his fourth time. He's almost a five-timer! Let's hope that this hosting attempt is good enough to justify an entry into that exclusive club.

Cold Open: Presidential Address:
When they went to the Trump postion of this sketch, some, I assume, were excited to see Baldwin back as Trump. I was more excited to see Cecily Strong bring back her Dianne Feinstein impression. My delight with this sketch pretty much ends here. It was just five minutes of jokes we've already heard this week. It was just so unoriginal, uninspired, and worst of all, unfunny. The Waffle House joke was pretty funny, though. I can give them that.
My Score: 5.5/10

Charles Barkley Monologue:
I think they forgot the jokes here. This was really unfunny, and it dragged on for too long. Nothing about this was particularly awful, but there wasn't anything good either. They should really start trying to make these monologues bearable.
My Score: 5/10

Harassment Awards:
This seems like something I'd usually enjoy, but it really was just okay. And for this episode, I'll take "just okay." This wasn't memorable, and was far too cliché-ridden. It seems like we've seen most of these punchlines before. That's a problem I had a lot tonight, and this is the sketch where I realized that it would be a recurring theme all night long.
My Score: 6.5/10

Roach Product:
Who would have thought that SNL's most biting political commentary of the night would have been in the form of a pest control commercial? But that was the case this week, with a businessman with a penchant for roach murder giving the same argument as the NRA, just with coachroaches instead of people. It sounds ridiculous, but it was actually highly entertaining. It wasn't perfect, but in this show, it sure felt like it was.
My Score: 8/10

Homework Hotline:
This was just... something. And not a good "something." A very, very bad "something." When it started out, I thought it could at least manage to be slightly decent. It couldn't. The bit got old after the first prank call, and after that it was just gross and weird. This was such a lazy attempt at comedy and I just wish I hadn't seen it. But not quite as much as the next sketch.
My Score: 4.5/10

The Champions:
For the love of god, what was this? Were there jokes in here?
My Score: 3.5/10

Weekend Update:
This might be my least-favorite Update of the season. It was so middling. For one thing, Jost and Che weren't at their best tonight. Something felt "off." Maybe it was just that the jokes weren't that good, but it was not their finest night. The problems don't stop there. Kyle Mooney's appearance was absolutely horrible and irritating and annoying and all the negative words you can think. Cecily Strong's Hope Hicks wasn't really all that funny, but wasn't bad either. The only real positive here was Olympics fan Leslie Jones appearing to talk about her favorite sports event. Thank you for that, Leslie. A segment that usually provides an all-too-brief respite from a rough show fell victim to one this week, and that's a damn shame.
My Score: 6/10

Hump or Dump:
This one had a few mild chuckles here and there, but for the most part was just a highly forgettable sketch that I probably won't even remember by the time the next SNL airs. Barkley did his best to sell this one, but it fell flat quite often. Still, it had enough funny moments in it that I'll avoid dishing out a 5 for it.
My Score: 6/10

Con Ed Repair Site:
From the moment it started, I didn't have a particularly good feeling. And that was certainly justified. The sketch went nowhere fast, and it stayed their for an agonizing 5 minutes. Nothing about this was very funny, memorable, or pleasing to watch. What was pleasing to watch was the commercial after it, at least in comparison.
My Score: 5/10

Last Call with Charles Barkley:
I'm a big fan of these sketches. They're quirky and weird and everything I look for in a 10-to-1 sketch! This one was another decent entry in the long line of Last Call sketches. It stuck to the traditional formula that should be tires by now, but I enjoy nonetheless.
My Score: 7.5/10

This was a really bad episode of SNL. It's hard to decide whether I hated it more or less than the Kevin Hart episode, but they're both really quite terrible. It's not Charles Barkley's fault at all, and he was one of my favorite parts of this show. He really tried to sell these sketches, but it just didn't work. The writing was really bad this week, and I don't know why. It's like they didn't even try. Sir Charles deserves better.
Score: 5/10
Grade: D
Pass or Fail: Fail
MVP of the Week: Kate McKinnon
Sketch of the Night: 
Roach Product
Worst of the Night: The Champions

Top 5 Hosts of the Season:
 Chance the Rapper
2) Saoirse Ronan
3) Tiffany Haddish
4) Jessica Chastain
5) Natalie Portman

What did you think of this week's SNL? What was your favorite sketch this week? Let me know in the comments and vote in the poll below!

*Photos courtesy of*

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