Don’t Forget: Charles Barkley Returns to SNL This Weekend

Up top are the promos for this week’s Saturday Night Live, which marks the third go-around for Charles Barkley in the hosting spot. As a lure to tune in on Saturday, they’re fairly convincing on their own: Bill Hader gets to poke fun at Barkley’s once-crippling gambling addiction! But let’s not forget that Chuck already has a surprisingly proud hosting history. The last time Barkley hosted, just about a year ago, his episode was a season highlight (“It’s not as if a bulldozing borderline-illiterate Shrek with no affect and nothing left to lose isn’t funny!,” Videogum’s review raved.) Charles killed it in the MacGruber sketch, in which the titular crafty hero has to face some hard truths about himself: he’s extremely racist. (“Chill, Da-RRELL.” “It’s pronounced DA-rrell.” “Oh, like a white Darrell!”) Even better is the Reel Quotes sketch, in which Hader (those two have some chemistry!) hosts a movie trivia game show with your regular batch of incompetents.

Hader: “In the 1975 film Jaws, upon seeing the shark for the first time, Roy Scheider utters the unforgettable line, ‘We’re going to need a bigger … ‘“
Barkley: “Ocean.
Hader: “We’re going to need need a bigger ocean?”
Barkley: “If you get a bigger ocean, it’s gonna make the shark seem smaller. Then the joke will be on the shark.”

Watch the whole thing. It just gets better!

I’m less familiar with Chuck’s 1993 hosting debut, but according to the internet, he did get to star in a fake commercial for Charles Barkley’s Big, Tall, and Black Men Stores. All you really need to know is that Muggsy Bogues shows up, and he make a joke that revolves around the phrase “free alterations.”

More importantly: Charles got to introduce Nirvana while wearing a turtleneck.

Still not enough reasons to convince you that this weekend’s SNL is worth checking out? OK, fine, here’s the final straw: the musical guest is Kelly Clarkson.

Filed Under: SNL, Television

Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ AmosBarshad