Canadian rapper Drake gets laughs on ‘SNL’

TORONTO — Hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend, Canadian rap star Drake wasted no time giving a shout out to his hometown.

“I grew up and still live in Toronto,” he said during his monologue. “The city of Toronto, where the rappers are polite and the mayor smokes crack.”

Drake also made a reference to his past on the Canadian TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation (calling it Degrassi High). His monologue ended with a sketch depicting his 1999 bar mitzvah with his Jewish mother and black father. Drake rapped: “I celebrate Hanukkah and date a Rihannakah.”

Drake first showed up as disgraced baseball player Alex Rodriguez in the opening sketch, in which Piers Morgan interviewed three personalities caught up in scandals.

SNL regular Kate McKinnon portrayed Canadian pop star Justin Bieber.¬†Asked why he would throw eggs at his neighbour, Bieber replied: “It’s a tradition in Canada. I thought my neighbour was a chicken so I was just returning his kids.”

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During the the show, Drake portrayed Lil Wayne (as Steve Urkel from Family Matters), a young Jay-Z, and comedian Katt Williams. In the “Resolution Revolution” music video, Drake vowed to give up booze. He also played a Disney World host, a high school student with a thing for older women and the perky co-host of a Miami morning show.

Drake performed a mix of “Started from the Bottom” and “Trophies” in the first music segment and returned for “Hold On We’re Going Home” and “From Time.”

Drake, who was the musical guest on SNL in 2011, was the second Canadian to do double duty as host and musical guest on the show in less than a year. Justin Bieber did the honours on Feb. 9.

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