A-Rod and Charles Barkley Totally Lose it in This ‘SNL’ Sketch About the World’s Toughest Sport

He’s not ready for prime time.

Charles Barkley did his fourth hosting gig on Saturday Night Live, and in some ways it was pretty successful. Something about Sir Charles’ deadpan delivery of pretty much everything he says just works. Despite his presence, many sketches were so-so. 

“The Champions,” in which Barkley, Alex Rodriguez, and Kenan Thompson as a former football player discussed the most dangerous sport, was a standout. We learned that A-Rod has a Jimmy Fallon-like inability to keep a straight face when doing comedy (Fallon example: the 2001 sketch below). 

The crackup was partly due to Barkley—who also had trouble holding it together—but mostly due to the fact Kenan Thompson is insane, and his brain-damaged NFL player (just 9 games) completely unraveled as the sketch proceeded. 

SNL should have A-Rod back just to see if they can totally break him in a future sketch.

Barkley was really at his best in a digital short cut for time: “Star Warriors.” He played a character who asked the question we’ve all had at some point: How the hell does every character in the Star Wars universe slip in and out of various alien languages so easily? 

He never really got an answer. Kenan Thompson made a great skinny Jabba the Hutt-like character, so that was cool. 

Actor Sterling K. Brown is the next host when a new SNL premieres on March 10.