Saturday Night Live: The best sketches with host Halsey

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: Halsey attends the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Pier 94 on November 8, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: Halsey attends the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Pier 94 on November 8, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret) /

Host and musical guest Halsey gave a pair of memorable performances and the full cast got a chance to shine on Saturday Night Live.

After a one week break Saturday Night Live returned with an all-new episode on Feb. 9. It was a special night as singer Halsey joined the SNL history books by pulling double duty as host and musical guest.

Last Night On’s episode preview looked at other performers who have been both the host and musical guest. Halsey joined names like Paul Simon, Lady Gaga, and Donald Glover. But the honor of being selected for the dual roles wasn’t enough for Halsey as she delivered two of the more memorable musical performances in the show’s recent history.

Without Me was a very personal performance  that used a set design to tell more of Halsey’s story than just the lyrics of the song. She followed that up with Eastside in a creative performance  that also included the singer painting upside down on a giant canvas.

On the hosting side, Halsey wasn’t given too much to handle during the night’s sketches. It certainly wasn’t for a lack of enthusiasm or stage presence that relegated her to mostly the straight character of each sketch. Instead, it was a chance for the entire cast to showcase their talents. Aiding in that was the rare occasion in which a celebrity cameo wasn’t used.

That approach was a welcomed one and ultimately proved successful. The top three sketches of the night show that Saturday Night Live will always rely on the strength of the cast above all else.

State Meeting

We’ve talked recently about how Saturday Night Live hasn’t been relying as much on political humor to get through an episode. But when a story like the controversy surrounding Virginia Governor Ralph Northam comes up, it’s hard for SNL to ignore it.

The story allows for SNL to address a political story that isn’t exactly about politics per se. And it also isn’t about the show’s writers showing a clear bias in any way, either. It’s not a stretch to think that a certain percentage of viewers were happy to see SNL mock a Democrat so relentlessly for a change.

But above all else, the sketch is very well done and allows for a number of cast members to shine. Kenan Thompson is of course perfect in his role as the exasperated straight man trying to get ahead of any more blackface scandals.

Cecily Strong, Alex Moffat, and Mikey Day also stand out in this sketch. As mentioned, Halsey isn’t given much to do or say compared to the other cast members. It was a bit surprising that it took so long for her to even have a line, but it may be a case of quality over quantity.

Meet the Press Cold Open

It has been a long time since we’ve seen a cold open that didn’t address something from President Trump’s administration. Considering his State of the Union address was earlier in the week and a number of Democratic opponents have entered the 2020 race, it was surprising to see SNL go in a different direction.

But again, that was a good thing. And like the Virginia sketch, it was probably well-received by some viewers and a relief to others who maybe were growing tired of seeing Alec Baldwin’s Trump or Robert De Niro’s Robert Mueller open each episode.

Instead the cold open focused on Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ claim that the National Enquirer was attempting to blackmail him over some private images. Without Baldwin or any other cameo, it allowed for regular cast members to show they can still carry a cold open.

Yes, we still had some shots fired at Team Trump via Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant as WIlbur Ross and Matt Whitaker. But the premise was still all about Bezos and the public curiosity into what is ultimately a terrible violation of privacy.


This was another sketch in which Halsey wasn’t asked to do too much other than support the sketch’s main player. Still, she and Beck Bennett did a solid job of keeping Kenan Thompson’s director character at the end of his rope.

But of course this sketch is all about Pete Davidson. It has been an interesting season for Davidson to say the least. From addressing his personal life on the show to clashing with politicians, he has been front and center since the beginning.

In the episode preview, we knew there was a chance that Davidson would be a centerpiece again after making it back in the news. However, this sketch didn’t feel like a forced product of that. Instead it was a chance for Davidson to show a bit more range than we’re used to seeing from him.

Davidson has admitted in the past that sketch comedy isn’t necessarily his strength. There is a reason he’s at his best on Weekend Update or in pre-taped bits like the song parodies he’s done with Chris Redd.

Yet as the overly prepared corpse actor Davidson proves that he can not only commit to a broad bit but can also carry a sketch without breaking. He seems to be having a lot of fun on the show these days which is a welcomed sight for fans. Don’t be surprised if this character pops up again before the end of season 44.

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What did you think of Saturday Night Live with Halsey? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back in with Last Night On for everything else SNL. Another new episode is coming up this week with host Don Cheadle and musical guest Gary Clark Jr. We’ll have an episode preview later this week so stay tuned!