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SNL and Chance The Rapper sing out your newest, most electrifying Halloween favorite

Mikey Day, Chance The Rapper, Kenan Thompson, Aidy Bryant
Screenshot: Saturday Night Live

On Saturday Night Live’s pretty damned decent Halloween episode last night, the show went all-out to nail down another of those perennial holiday favorites they can slot into a lucratively time-filling prime-time special somewhere down the line. Halloween’s fertile earth for horror-comedy sketch shenanigans of the damned (David S. Pumpkins, Vincent Price’s Halloween Special, that one where there’s a genuinely terrifying axe murderer in Gilda’s childhood bedroom closet), and while there were a handful of funny-spooky bits on last night’s Chance The Rapper-hosted show, it’s likely the one called, innocently enough, “Spooky Song” that’s going to get a well-deserved second chance to stalk the earth.

Starting out, like you do, with two horny teens planning to make out in a cemetery, the sketch quickly turns into a Tim Burton-esque musical number, with four dusty specters (Chance, Aidy Bryant, Kenan Thompson, and Mikey Day) dancing a jig while they attempt to frighten the interlopers by relating in song just how they died. In all, pretty standard ghost musical-number stuff, what with Kenan’s doomed boat captain, Aidy’s flammably dressed party girl, and Day’s incautious coal miner all rhyming out their fates in old-timey holiday special style. However, the teens notice that Chance’s ghost (sporting some telltale spiked-up hair) isn’t quite as forthcoming, ending his verse with an abrupt “We can skip me, Happy Halloween!”

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Overcoming their terror, the teens can’t help but ask Kenan’s captain if they’re missing something, especially when Chance reluctantly explains, “My death was a real ‘had to be there’ situation” that “requires a lot of context.” (“Is he allowed to be that vague?,” one teen asks, to which the annoyed Kenan-ghost responds firmly, “He is not.”) So, giving in, the Chance-ghost finally sings about his ultimate fate which, while not precisely chilling per se, is definitely worth the wait for the silly, gleefully gross, but expertly deployed joke to illuminate itself.

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.