Published: January 20, 2014 at 8:32 AM
I saw the sketch live, and thought it was typical SNL faire. The premise was pretty funny, and Drake did a good job as the lead--The writers kept him busy throughout the night, only giving him the Weekend Update slot off.
As with all sketch comedy, the skit went for the lowest common denominator, and I think there would have been a bit more outrage and allegations of racism if Nasiim Pedrad had not played Rahat. I was waiting for them to work the name into a joke, but it never came, and with so many SNL sketches, it ended with a thud after the third repetition of the schtick. You have to give them credit though for doing a really good job with the set design. For those who have either seen a taping or toured the NBC studios in New York, that soundstage is extremely small and cramped.
I don't think it was a direct shot at Disney, but a situation one of the writers thought was funny, perhaps from personal experience, and was at least humorous enough at the walk through that it made the cut for the show.
Perhaps it's more telling that SNL is NBC's highest rated scripted show despite airing at 11:30 PM on Saturday. SNL, as it was even in the 70's, can be hit or miss, and has a lot to do with timing around historical events and the guest host and musical guest, who are booked months in advance. Everyone's going to say that SNL was better "back in the day", but if you go back and watch those early seasons (you can purcahse the entirety of the first 5 seasons on DVD), there are some serious duds on either side of the classics. It's pretty amazing that the show has lasted for nearly 40 years, and continues to reinvent itself. This year's cast is not as strong as recent years, mostly because they lost a number of veterans over the past 2 years, and are about to lose their lead writer (Seth Myers) to Late Night. Not only that, but they're dealing with their Executive Producer (Lorne Michaels) having his time split between SNL and launching the new Tonight Show in New York with Jimmy Fallon. Many critics would say that SNL had a rebirth over the past 5 years, and that the show goes through cycles like this as casts turn over. I think there are 4 or 5 new permanent cast members this season (some were "featured players" in previous seasons).