Saturday Night Live‘s forays into the sports world for sketches can be hit or miss, but when Kenan Thompson is involved, there is usually a good chance it’s going to be a hit, best evidenced by him making a beloved recurring Weekend Update character out of LaVar Ball.
Thompson has also played Charles Barkley, but on this weekend’s episode he debuted a new former player turned sports media personality, as he took on the role of Kendrick Perkins opposite Chris Redd’s Stephen A. Smith in a First Take spoof that is honestly incredible work from all parties. Kenan nails Perk’s mannerisms and frequent use of “with all due respect” and “carry the hell on,” while Redd gradually warms up into a pitch perfect Stephen A. rant about going on a 10 city listening tour of America in the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile to determine if a hot dog is a sandwich — which he determines it is “for now and forever, amen.”
Chloe Fineman’s Molly Qerim captures the exasperation of dealing with these two perfectly, joking that they need to calm down because their audience of “unemployed dads” is still waking up, while Natasha Lyonne plays a wonderfully out of place Michael Rapaport, yelling about da friggin’ Knicks. Still, Redd’s Stephen A. and Thompson’s Big Perk are the stars here and I’m not kidding when I say I would watch a full First Take episode with these two filling in in character, because they really are incredibly on point.