During tonight’s goodnights, Kim Kardashian West thanked her family for being good sports. And, indeed, her monologue was a tumble of self-roasting Kardashian jokes, indicating that the influencer and her like-minded but not quite as successful clan had collectively decided to get ahead of the wave by allowing Kim to read out some of the Saturday Night Live writers’ moderately cutting one-liners. So why does it feel like it’s we Saturday Night Live viewers who were the real butts of the joke?
Kardashian West’s appearance as Season 47’s second
Kardashian West’s appearance as Season 47’s second host included humblebrags, product placement, brand-forward family cameos aplenty, and the distinct feeling from the cast of a dogged obligation whenever Kardashian West was on the screen. (It was slightly better in a pre-tape about the host going clubbing with Ego Nwodim, Cecily Strong, and Punkie Johnson’s fellow middle aged moms, mainly because the premise gave writers an excuse to have the host fall immediately asleep throughout.)
In reviewing a Kim Kardashian West-hosted episode of SNL, I’m reminded of the gag in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt where socialite Jacqueline’s decidedly unplugged-from-pop-culture mom realizes to her dismay that she’s absorbed far more information about the Kardashian family than she ever imagined. Tonight, there were at least three other Kardashian-Jenners kicking around, with the studio audience dutifully popping in recognition, all hinting, like the monologue, about some hard-nosed backstage negotiating. The Kardashian brand is fame, and Kim represented the label with her customary diligence, dragging along mother and a few sisters into the lucrative limelight.
She joked in the monologue that SNL’s measly viewership pales in comparison to the follower count of her heavily branded social media empire, and she’s right. The Kardashians don’t need Saturday Night Live. That Saturday Night Live appeared so willing to turn over a pivotal, early-season episode to a non-performer and her family/product suggests that SNL has no idea what it needs, either.
Kardashian West then declared that the she’s really proud
Kardashian West then declared that the she’s really proud that “no one can ever call me a gold digger” since she’s earned her own fortune. “Honestly, I’m not even sure how you become one,” she added. “So I asked my mom’s boyfriend Corey.”
The reality television star and billionaire entrepreneur went on to say that she has been “very lucky in life” and awareness of her privilege led to her work in criminal justice reform.
“My father was, and still is, such an influence and inspiration to me and I credit him with really opening up my eyes to racial injustice,” she said.
“It’s because of him that I met my first Black person. Want to take a stab in the dark at who it was? I know it’s sort of weird to remember the first Black person you met but O.J. does leave a mark. Or several, or none at all. I still don’t know.”
Robert Kardashian helped represent Simpson, who was acquitted of two counts of murder in the fatal stabbings of his ex-wife Nicole Simpson and Ronal Goldman. A civil court jury later found him liable and ordered him to pay $33.5 million.
Kardashian West also took aim at her estranged husband’s failed run for president and her stepparent Caitlyn Jenner’s unsuccessful bid to become California’s governor.
Later in the show, Kardashian West took direct comedic aim again at her divorce and O.J. Simpson in a “The People’s Kourt” skit, playing her sister Kourtney Kardashian. As she played judge to a case involving Kanye, played by Chris Redd, and herself — played by Heidi Gardner dressed in her full-body black Met Gala ensemble — Kardashian West attempted to decipher a claim from the rapper, who repeatedly alleged in a nasally voice that his Twitter had been “hacked” by the influencer and reality star.
Kardashian West threw in a joke about Kanye’s failed bid for president, and her stepparent Caitlyn Jenner’s bid for California governor.
“I’m here to announce that I’m running. … I’m just kidding,” she smiled.
Kanye accompanied Kim to New York for her SNL appearance on NBC. She filed for divorce in February after six years of marriage. The two, who share four children, have been photographed together several times in recent months.
The musical guest, Halsey, was perfection, accompanied for one song by Lindsey Buckingham on guitar. Halsey tweeted out a photo of herself pumping breast milk backstage before the show. She gave birth in July.
Kris Jenner and sister Khloe Kardashian popped up in a couple of sketches, including one where cast member Aidy Bryant and Kim switched bodies.
In a spinoff of The People’s Court, Kim parodied sister Kourtney by playing a bored judge, including her sibling’s penchant for PDA with boyfriend Travis Barker from his lap. She ruled over Kris, Khloe and members of the cast playing Kanye and Kim sisters Kylie and Kendall Jenner.
Kardashian West also doled out gold tokens to Jesse Williams, John Cena and more in a sendoff of The Bachelorette. Amy Schumer, Chris Rock, basketball’s Blake Griffin and real life Bachelorette competitor Tyler Cameron appeared as well.
Another sketch had Kim playing Jasmine to Pete Davidson’s Aladdin, the latter a version of the Disney character who was jittery over the prospect of “doing sex” with the bombshell princess.
Perhaps the cutest moment? The actual chunk of a dog used as Kim introduced a new addition to her wildly popular shapewear brand Skims — “Skims for thick dogs.”