The six best moments from Drake’s Saturday Night Live invasion
He shaved his beard for this.
Drake’s promotional crusade for Views saw him pulling double duty on Saturday Night Live—he was both host and musical guest. It was the second time the rapper/singer/actor/living meme has taken over the iconic sketch show, and, believe or not, he doubled down on the hometown shout-outs. “Is Toronto in the house tonight?” Drake asked, right off the top, foreshadowing many Canadian references to come. Here, our favourite moments from the episode.
Drake begins the penultimate episode of SNL’s 41st season with one of the best monologues of the year. Slipping into “Sensitive Drizzy” mode, the artist grabs the microphone to lament his frequent meme-ification: mini Drake perched on the CN Tower, tennis-styled “Hotline Bling” dance moves. Even “Rihanna” (just Drake tossing on a wig) and Crying Jordan make cameos. “I just wanna scream,” Drake croons with faux earnestness. “That I’m more than a meme.” Perfect.
TTC Jared wins Black Jeopardy!
The eve’s greatest sketch was also its most Toronto-centric: dreadlocked Drake as Jared, Black Jeopardy!’s only Canadian contestant. He expertly nails the “Toronto black guy” stereotype, dropping references to Rick Moranis, Jaromir Jagr, Kardinal Offishall and the TTC before mistakenly saying “bro” instead of “bruh”—a subtle but hyper-localized wink at his hometown.
Chris Rock introduces Drake
SNL alum and funniest man alive Chris Rock pops up only to introduce Drake’s first musical performance. Boxed in by a layered, three-dimensional perimeter of flashing light bulbs, Drake performs his smash single “One Dance” on an illuminated floor while pulling dance moves that will certainly be made fun of. For his second tune, the 6 God knocks out the fed-up “Hype”—the best straight-up rap jam on his new album—as blue lights beam and fake snowflakes flutter from the ceiling.
Sexy time with Dennis Walls and the Cookies
Donning a broom-thick lip duster reminiscent of Tom Selleck’s (or his own father’s), Drake assumes 1978 R&B Casanova Dennis Walls in “Sexy Kinda Evening.” Flanked by his backup singers, the Cookies, Walls’ attempts to set a loving mood keep getting undone by footstools, Chipmunk-tuned microphones and a circular bed that starts whipping around like a Scrambler.
Jay Pharoah mocks Drake to his face
So often relegated to support-player status, impersonator extraordinaire Jay Pharoah shines in this episode, capping off Weekend Update with a series of spot-on rapper imitations (Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Will Smith, T.I.). Of course, Pharoah finishes with a nerdy yet accurate impression of the host, and Drake slides in to argue that he sounds nothing like that (when he in fact sounds everything like that). It’s a fallback SNL gimmick—the imitator coming face-to-face with the imitated—but it always works like a charm.
Drake catches beef with cast members
In this great digital short, the nice-guy host takes issue with the smallest of slights backstage—removing his hat from a chair, cleaning up his unfinished water bottle—and turns vengeful in over-the-top dis verses, complete with gun fingers and crotch grabs. Even Lorne Michaels gets Meek Milled in this one.