'Saturday Night Live': Charles Barkley Hosts for Third Time, Kelly Clarkson Performs (Video)

SNL Bill Hader Charles Barkley - H 2012

SNL Bill Hader Charles Barkley - H 2012

Was it “third time’s the charm” for Charles Barkley, who hosted Saturday Night Live on January 7?

Sort of.

The NBA star’s hosting performance was not slam dunk, but had plenty for good moments. His strongest skits involved basketball in one form or another, as should be expected. This was the third time that Barkley had hosted the sketch comedy show.

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The least memorable part of the show was probably the cold open that featured Andy Samberg as Rick Santorum. The material was not entertaining enough, and will need some work since for future sketches because Santorum skits will most likely be back in future episodes.

While he stumbled at time, Barkley’s opening monologue was entertaining. He talked about the end of the NBA strike, and also mentioned his recent weight loss.

“The point is, Weight Watchers worked for me. I feel great. Except for one thing. I am so hungry. I am starving. So please forgive me if I eat one of you,” said Barkley. He also took some swipes at Michael Jordan and wasn’t afraid to make fun of his own problems with gambling.

“Inside the NBA” skit featured Kenan Thompson playing Charles Barkley and the actual Barkley playing Shaquille O’Neal. It was a pretty accurate reflection of the real show’s habit of not talking about sports, as the conversation traveled to go-cart racing and other random topics.

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“White People Problems” saw Barkley as the host of a show that investigated the problems of white people.

“For those of you at home ‘awkward’ is a white people word that can be applied for every situation,” says Barkley at one point.

And then, there was Barkley in drag for a skit in which his character, apparently a woman, comes out as a lesbian. Barkley’s character Joanne then has to break the heart of a young male admirer.

One of the best skits was a faux-add for the Charles Barkley Post-Game Translator App, in which Barley translates the gibberish that coaches and athletes say in post-game interviews. If only that really existed.

Weekend Update features Michele Bachmann (Kristen Wiig) appearing to announce the end of campaign. She said she’s looking forward to resting and spending time at home – and blinking. She even sings a little bit of Montell Jordan’s jams each time she rests her eyes.

Former American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson performed “What Doesn’t Kill You” and “Mr. Know It All” off her album Stronger on the show. Her vocals were strong, but she didn’t do much moving on the stage, except for a little awkward clapping.