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December 17, 2017

Re-cap: Kevin Hart hosts festive 'Saturday Night Live' mid-season finale

“Saturday Night Live” aired its final episode of 2017, this time starring Philly native Kevin Hart with musical guest Foo Fighters.

The show began with a return to the White House and Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump as various staff members help to decorate the Christmas “loser” tree, including Kate McKinnon as Kellyanne Conway and Aidy Bryant as Sarah Huckabee Sanders, among others. 

It’s not long before newly departed Omarosa Manigault Newman (Leslie Jones) tries to get in. Scarlett Johansson (who is currently dating Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost) made a surprise guest appearance as Ivanka Trump before McKinnon returns as Jeff Sessions… sort of.

The episode marks Hart’s third time hosting the show. The comedian talked about the birth of his third child and why he hates seeing old Dads with newborns.

“SNL” started the holiday spoofs with a Pandora commercial poking fun at the charm bracelets and how terrible men can be at shopping for a thoughtful gift.

In “Office Phone Call,” Hart interrupts a work meeting with what seems to be an urgent personal call.

One pre-filmed segment turned out to be one of the more memorable highlights of the episode with “Captain Shadow and the Cardinal.” Hart and Chris Redd play super heroes not unlike Batman and Robin, but quickly get pulled over by the cops.

Hart showed off his impersonation skills playing Shaquille O'Neal on “Inside the NBA,” constantly offering meandering, nonsensical, stream-of-consciousness words alongside the rest of the hosts, including Kenan Thompson as Charles Barkley. It gets really interesting once Hart, who clocks in at 5’4”, stands up on leg stilts to look as tall as O’Neal.

Weekend Updated started off with a re-cap at the Alabama Senate election and the growing push for Trump to resign over sexual misconduct allegations. Jost also noted the recent Golden Globe nominations and its lack of female director nominees.

“There were no female directors nominated for a Golden Globe this year. It’s a snub women in Hollywood are calling ‘the least of our problems,’” Jost said to an image of the alleged male predators in Hollywood.

Later Jones’ Omarosa makes a return and insists to Michael Che that she wasn’t fired, but quit the White House. Alex Moffat reprises his Weekend Update character as Guy Who Just Bought a Boat.

In “Nativity Play,” a llama is incorporated into the sketch and things get weird.

During "Holiday Party," Hart and Jones play a married couple, and Jones’ orders at her husband make the party turn a bit ugly.

The last sketch of the night was “Active Jack,” where Hart plays an old PBS host from the ‘70s who tried to get kids to be more active. At one point he refers to the “South Philly breakdown” as a fitness routine. Some 40 years later, Thomson plays the aged Active Jack during a fundraising drive, and the routine doesn’t come as easily.

Foo Fighters performed for the mid-season finale, first performing “The Sky Is a Neighborhood,” from the band's most recent album, “Concrete and Gold,” which was released in September. In the band’s second performance of the night, they offered a Christmas medley that started with Dave Grohl, solo, performing Foo Fighters’ old hit “Everlong” before the stage lit up to reveal the full band, festive lights, and back-up singers belting out “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” 

Also, if you never thought the Charlie Brown Christmas theme could sound edgy, you have officially been proven wrong.

“SNL” is on hiatus until its return January 13, 2018 with host Sam Rockwell and musical guest Halsey.