- Kevin Hart broke out a hilarious impression of Shaquille O’Neal while hosting “Saturday Night Live” this weekend.
- Hart had to wear stilts throughout the sketch to match O’Neal’s enormous frame.
- The two appear to be friendly with each other, so the impression comes off as a gentle ribbing rather than a harsh critique on the NBA Hall of Famer.
TNT’s “Inside the NBA” is one of the few pregame and postgame shows in sports that many consider appointment television. The conversations among Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O’Neal can quickly devolve into absurdity and fits of laughter, making both for great TV and for fertile grounds for satire.
Further proof of this came over the weekend when Kevin Hart roasted O’Neal while hosting “Saturday Night Live” for the third time.
During a sketch parodying “Inside the NBA,” Hart played O’Neal, while Kenan Thompson took on the role of Barkley.
The focus of Hart’s impression was on O’Neal’s low, grumbling voice, as well as his tendency to ramble and sometimes lose his train of thought in the middle of a comment.
And Hart, a shorter man, stood on stilts to match Shaq’s 7-foot-1 frame, adding humor.
Watch the full sketch:
O’Neal and Hart appear to be on good terms with each other, so the impression hopefully is viewed as a friendly ribbing as opposed to any real shots fired.
Kevin Hart & Shaq pic.twitter.com/bpEkZbFAw7
— History Lovers Club (@historylvrsclub) November 28, 2017
It’s not the first time this season that the cast of “SNL” has set its sights on the sporting world – “Weekend Update” has featured impressions of Conor McGregor and LaVar Ball. But Hart’s impersonation of O’Neal stands well above the rest.