It’s always kind of a relief when the musicians who host “Saturday Night Live” also have some sort of acting ability — you know they won’t embarrass themselves, so you don’t have to worry about cringing through an entire hour and a half. Since Drake, a.k.a. Aubrey Graham, spent his formative years acting on a Canadian teen soap opera,
he not only fully committed to every skit, he also had the acting chops to pull it off.
This one’s not online, for some reason, but Drake got started with the jokes early as a not-very-apologetic Alex Rodriguez speaking with Taran Killam’s Piers Morgan and trying to blame his steroid abuse on autocorrect, Jackie Robinson and the dictionary — basically, everyone but himself. Kate McKinnon also played an excellent, constantly posing Justin Bieber.
DRAKE BAR MITZVAH MONOLOGUE
After a quick joke about being from Toronto, “the city where the rappers are polite and the mayor smokes crack,” and publicly apologizing for coining the term YOLO — “I did not realize your annoying friends and coworkers would use it so much” — this evolved into a skit too, a flashback to the half-Jewish singer’s Bar Mitzvah. It also marked the first of many appearances by excellent new cast member Sasheer Zamata.
BEFORE THEY WERE STARS
This one probably went over many parents’ heads, but essentially in a nod to Drake’s acting past the “SNL” cast imagined what other famous hip hop stars got their starts on ’90s soaps. Highlights were Killam’s Eminem on “Felicity,” Drake’s Lil Wayne as Steve Urkel on “Family Matters” and Zamata as a crotch-patting Rihanna dancing through the “Blossom” opening.
This one featured the ever-energetic Grace delving into Colorado’s new weed laws, and Drake popped up as a super-stoned Katt Williams.
Here, Drake, Jay Pharaoh and Killam played three dudes who were TERRIBLE at keeping their New Year’s resolutions.
Drake played Zamata’s DILF, and Aidy Bryant the pre-teen pal in love with him.
The rapper’s first appearance was a medley of “Started From the Bottom” and “Trophies” while standing on a pitch black stage under a red light.
His second spot was a combination of “Going Home” and “From Time,” featuring Jhene Aiko.
This week’s guests included Jaqueline Bisset (Vanessa Bayer in an extended riff on Bisset’s loopy Golden Globes speech) and Arianna Huffington.
DISNEY WORLD SHOW
This might not have been the best skit of the night, but Drake really committed as an enthusiastic Disney employee saddled with a confused, non-English-speaking volunteer for the “Indiana Jones” show.
This skit featured Vanessa Bayer as a hippie poet trying to teach her craft to a bunch of juvenile delinquents in detention. Drake plays a kid into older ladies.
Drake plays the latest cohost on a Miami morning show as he and his coworkers — who all loathe each other — film their morning promos together.
This is the only skit of the night that didn’t feature the host. It was kind of weird, but it was the last skit of the night.