Kim Kardashian revels in self-parody as SNL host

By EMILY MELVIN
On October 13, 2021

Photo courtesy of Love Lira Fashion, Flickr.

“Saturday Night Live” has returned to 30 Rock for its 47th season on air. With two episodes already completed, it is easy to say that this will continue to be a rather interesting season.

In the second episode of the season, “Saturday Night Live (SNL)” welcomed the renowned reality TV, media influence legend Kim Kardashian to her debut as host. Halsey was the musical guest, where she performed two songs off their recent album “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power.”

Kim Kardashian is without a doubt quite a controversial celebrity. Star of the 20 season long reality TV show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” her entire brand is built on drama, money, beauty and family — even though her family dynamic looks much different from the families we are all familiar with. 

The hosting choice was a bit odd, as usually the host is a celebrity with an upcoming movie or album release. It also caused uncertainty, as there are many different opinions of Kim Kardashian. Her prior commitment to the extremely controversial Kanye West did not really help her image. 

Despite all this, Kim made the night about herself in a lighthearted way, and it was all for the most part very entertaining. Of course we cannot forget that we are watching a mega famous billionaire intermingle with some lesser known, far less wealthy comedians, but we were able to appreciate her ability to sit within the jokes and not take herself or her family too seriously. 

The strongest part of the night was by far Kim’s monologue, which contained comedic and harsh roast after roast. Though Kim most likely did not write this all herself, her contribution, willingness and delivery did not go unnoticed. 

She drew attention to her own life and power, and she wanted people to understand that she is “so much more than just a pretty face… and good hair, and great makeup, and amazing boobs and a perfect butt.”

“Basically, I’m just so much more than that reference photo my sisters showed their plastic surgeons,” she said during her monologue, donning her crushed pink velvet bodysuit, fitting similarly to her 2021 full black Met Gala look, her face visible this time though, of course.

Not only did Kim throw digs at all of her family members, she brought up some rather sensitive topics revolving around her now ex-husband Kanye West and O.J. Simpson, who her father Rob Kardashian defended back during his original trials. The Kardashians typically do not bring up the O.J. scandal or their connection to it, but it felt timely and was a perfect use of dark comedy. 

The monologue was truly the highlight of the night and season thus far, but this isn’t to say that there weren’t any sketches deserving of praise. Kim’s acting is not the strongest, and there were some evident moments of hesitation, especially in one of the first sketches of the night, “Jasmine and Aladdin,” where Kim starred besides “SNL” fan favorite Pete Davidson. However, her acting was redeemed in the best sketch of the night, “The People’s Kourt.”

In this live sketch, Kim performs as the eldest Kardashian sister Kourtney, who is the judge of a courthouse focused on drama within or related to the family. She does a great job channeling Kourtney’s typically mellow, uninterested demeanor.

The sketch featured the mother of all mothers Kris Jenner and glam younger sister Khloe Kardashian — both of which appeared in an earlier sketch, as well. Other Kardashian-Jenner family members or affiliates also were in the sketch, standing before a jury to discuss nonsense issues. Both Kris and Khloe portray themselves, and Halsey made an appearance in the sketch as Kendall Jenner. 

The Kardashian-Jenner tribe is notoriously dramatic and problematic. However, they do put on a great show. Kim’s work as the week’s host was definitely one many felt uneasy about beforehand, but were left amused and entertained at the end of the show.

One thing I have always admired about the Kardashians-Jenners is their self-awareness. They understand how they present themselves in the spotlight and what others think of them. Their whole lives are glam and drama, and they do not deny it. It was almost refreshing to see the family making fun of themselves, playing one another and having fun while doing so.

 

4/5 stars

 

emelvin@ramapo.edu

 

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