If Drake's New Year's resolution was to serve double duty as host and musical guest for the first episode of Saturday Night Live of 2014 and set the bar so high for the rest of the year for any other hosts/musical guests, well then he definitely hit his goal by January 18, 2014. Mazel Tov, Dracob! Drake was not only willing to poke fun at himself and acknowledge his humble beginnings on Degrassi, but the music star gave it all whether he was performing his own songs or being the best part of just about every sketch he appeared in (like when he fit in effortlessly to "Mornin' Miami" or was the saving grace of "Poetry Teacher.") It may be a little too early to tell fellow charming song-and-dance man Justin Timberlake to step aside, but Drake's presence feels fresh and funny and honestly I wouldn't mind seeing him back again…and again…and again. Here, now, is the best and worst of Drake's SNL:
Best: Opening Monolog/Aubrey's Bar Mitzvah
Having a host sing during the opening monologue usually feels like a lazy, fallback trope, but honestly would you want to have Drake do anything else. After he knocked his A-Rod impression in the cold open out of the park, he was a natural taking the stage of Studio 8H and delivered a monologue that included a Degrassi shout-out and an apology for coining the phrase "YOLO." All was forgiven when the African-American Jewish man that is Aubrey Drake Graham "re-enacted" his very diverse Bar Mitzvah. Can he somehow work "Eat knishes with my bitches" into one of his real songs? Watch the hilarious opener here:
Worst: Slumber Party
Hey, I get it: Drake is adorable. But the punchline of this sketch -- that a young girl attending a slumber party is actually a very turned-on 25-year-old woman -- was too creepy to be funny and ran about three minutes too long. Still, kudos to Aidy Bryant for going for it and Drake for even be convincing as a corny dad.
Best: Resolution Revolution
My new resolution for 2014 is to somehow get this catchy jam out of my head, but I've already cheated and listened to it about 15 more times. Putting newcomer Sasheer Zamata front and center for this taped segment about how quickly those noble New Year's resolutions go right out the window (drink less, diet, stop gambling), this was as relatable as it was hilarious (Drake cosplay!). Unlike the evening's other taped segment "I Know" this one stuck the landing.
Worst: Disney World Show
If someone told you the punchline of a sketch and it would barely make you crack a smile (a foreigner can't quite grasp how to participate in a live Disney show) it's pretty much a guarantee that dragging it out into a painful 5-minute sketch won't help matters. It didn't work here either, despite all the best efforts of Drake as an over-enthusiastic emcee.
Best: All Those Imitations
SNL never has a shortage of celebrity imitations, but unlike the Jimmy Fallon 2013 episode which relied on having as many as possible, whether or not they were quality, these were all spot-on and damn funny. Among the standouts were Taran Killam as an excessively loud Eminem on Felicity in the "BET Hip Hop Classics: Before They Were Stars" sketch was great and Drake as comedian Katt Williams during an otherwise so-so Nancy Grace sketch. Watch the former, which also includes Drake's amazing turn as Jay-Z on Mister Wizard here:
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