Kim Kardashian Is Better at Making Fun of Her Family Than You Are
It’s often been said that the best Saturday Night Live hosts are the ones who are up for anything. According to former SNL head writer Tina Fey, a good host checks their ego at the door and embraces the “yes, and” spirit of improv comedy. It is perhaps the diametrical opposite of what you might expect from a member of America's most famous family, the Kardashians, who have dealt with an unprecedented level of attention and public scrutiny since they, well, set out to become America's most famous family.
It turns out, however, that you can be both a good Kardashian and a good SNL host. Kim Kardashian West, the crown jewel of the tribe who wrote the textbook on using other people’s expectations against them, made her SNL hosting debut over the weekend, and to the surprise of many, she was pretty damn funny.
Across the show’s 120 minutes, she skewered herself, her sisters, her Mom’s boyfriend, and even her soon-to-be-ex-husband, Kanye West. In Kardashian's opening monologue she fired off zingers about family members with a kind of detached confidence that suggested she’s heard every single possible joke about her family—and that she knows how to tell a better one than the rest of us. “I am just so much more than that reference photo my sisters show their plastic surgeons” she quipped in her nasal, valley girl lilt. That joke about Kris's boyfriend being a gold digger? Pure chef's kiss; as were the lines about her own sex tape and, oh yeah, O.J. Simpson.
Here are the highlights, from a highlight-heavy show.
The People's Kourt
The roast continued throughout the night in a stand-out spoof on "The People's Kourt" in which the Kardashians aired their dirty laundry in front of the judge, Kourtney Kardashian as played by Kim Kardashian. "I'm suing Kendall," complained Kris Jenner, played by Kris Jenner herself, "because she has absolutely no drama. She won't cause any drama and it's damaging our brand."
To which Kendall, played by musical guest Halsey, naively and defensively replied, "I'm a Jenner, not a Kardashian." Kris, not missing a beat despite some earlier fumbles, snapped back the night's best line: "And that's something you need to work on, honey." The courtroom hissed in response to the joke.
Another peak during the night came when Aidy Bryant and Kim Kardashian traded lives for the day in the digital sketch called "The Switch." Bryant did the heavy lifting when it came to the comedy but seeing Kim K. dressed in dowdy overalls and a sweater was shocking, even if not necessarily funny. It wouldn't be a proper Kardashian moment if mama bear Kris wasn't involved, and she popped up here as well; indeed the best joke came when Kris handed over fistfuls of money to Aidy, oblivious of her scheme.
Of course, the biggest joke of all is the idea that any member of the Kardashian clan would be oblivious to something we think that involved their brands. They are nothing if not self-aware, and every joke in Saturday’s episode was based on something we’ve, and clearly, they've, heard before. And if you've got any doubt about the power Kim yields, or why the show courted her to host, consider this: Saturday's episode led to a 23 percent boost in ratings for the storied series. Once again, it's the Kardashians who get the last laugh.