Last night saw the hosting debut for Scandal star Kerry Washington as well as a controversial performance by Detroit rapper Eminem. But while the sketches were pretty great overall and Slim Shady blew through his sets, one of the highlights on the night was on the Weekend Update when Jay Pharoah and Keen Thompson stopped by in character as Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley.
Anytime that Pharoah and Thompson get together on SNL it’s a good time but it’s an especially good time whenever they drop by as Shaw and Barkley. Pharoah is a go-to performer when it comes to impressions and he saw an extensive amount of work on last night’s show.
His impression of Shaq is one of the best and goofiest we’ve seen and it’s one that we fully expect to see more of as the basketball season continues and Pharoah’s stock skyrockets with SNL.
Thompson too deserves credit as he helped carry the sketch, as he’s often leaned on to do. He was the talker of the bit, berating Shaq for having goofy opinions and for buying part of the Sacramento Kings over the summer. Thompson too is seeing more work and is slipping reps with Pharoah out of SNL’s backfield more routinely. They compliment each other and bounce off of one another with their timing and their style and it’s one of the best partnerships SNL has seen in a very long time.