Chris Rock commenced the new season of Saturday Night Live with a hard-hitting and properly-political opening monologue.
Settling into a unique crowd configuration (with a handful of first responders sitting on the main floor of the studio and the rest of the audience filling the rafters,) Rock acknowledged the range of COVID testing protocols the show had to instate in order to return to Studio 8H (“I haven’t had so much stuff up my nose since I shared a dressing room with Chris Farley.”)
From there, he swiftly moves on to how the pandemic has upended most, if not all, of our plans, lamenting the loss of an $80,000 deposit on Bel Biv DeVoe for his sister’s wedding and not getting to see Rage Against The Machine at Coachella. Rock pivots to other difficult reassessments sparked by the pandemic, notably, of our relationships with each other, and most importantly, with the government, blasting the president and the antiquated political structures keeping people in power well beyond the point of being genuinely useful (“If you hired a cook and he was making people vomit every day, do you sit there and go ‘Well, he’s got a four-year deal, we just gotta vomit for four more years’?”)
Though he’s made several cameo appearances on the show since being fired from the cast in 1993 (including a drop-in with Dave Chappelle and Tracy Morgan during Eddie Murphy’s triumphant return to the program,) last night’s run somehow marked only the second time Rock has hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live, following an episode in 2014 where he was joined by the late Prince as musical guest.
Watch Chris Rock open the 46th season of Saturday Night Live with a fiery monologue above. Stay tuned for more highlights from the show.