Jack Harlow had not yet been tested on “SNL,” and as someone who is getting increasingly out of touch with today’s music scene, I’ll admit that my familiarity began and ended with merely hearing his name from time to time. I was not familiar with his songs or anything about him that provided much of an impression. Unfortunately, his monologue didn’t inspire much confidence. Though the insults that have been said about him on the internet were funny in themselves, Harlow didn’t really do anything to enhance the delivery of them. Part of it felt like nerves, the other part of it came from the fact that I don’t think I like this guy’s stage presence very much. There’s a lot of unnecessary hand gestures, which feels like a result of his rap career.
But perhaps the weirdest thing came at the end of the monologue. What was up with that crowd interaction bit? It felt like it was one of the typical audience Q&A segments that happen during monologue, but it didn’t result in a joke, and the audience member in question simply said she was a fan of Jack Harlow. Was this Harlow just wanting to be spontaneous with the crowd, and it didn’t result in anything entertaining? It certainly seems that way.
The good news is that Harlow got much better as the night went on (for the most part), and he deserves plenty of credit for having a good time on the show. Much like Megan Thee Stallion and most of the musical guests who end up hosting, Harlow is not the best actor, but he was able to shed his hip hop image to actually do some character work throughout the episode. Even the sketch where Harlow played a version of himself (above) was funny, because it was all about him relentlessly hitting on Whoopi Goldberg (Ego Nwodim) on an episode of “The View,” and it turned out to be much more hilarious than it otherwise could have been.