By Paul de Revere
As was established from the get-go on this week’s Saturday Night Live, Aubrey Graham — better known as rapper Drake — was an actor long before he was the toast of the hip-hop world. Take a look at his filmography and you’ll see there’s more to Graham’s acting career than just the Canadian-televisionDegrassi franchise, mentioned during his opening monologue/sketch (below).
So it’s unsurprising Drake performed better than most musicians would as host and musical guest. He was goofy, obviously down for whatever the writers wanted to do with him, knew when to focus and showcase his rhymes (“knishes for my b****es”) and fully willing to make an ass of himself un-self-consciously in sketch comedy, which is pretty much the key to any good Saturday Night Live host performance. Drake embraced that and he can hang his hat on his performance. It’s comparable (but not quite up to par) with Justin Timberlake, another child actor-turned-musical-superstar who’s pulled SNL double duty in the recent past.