Snoop Dogg Takes On A New Role: Game Show Host

Oct 27, 2017
Originally published on October 27, 2017 11:08 am
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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Snoop Dogg is reinventing himself. The rapper became a star working with Dr. Dre on a song about killing an undercover cop for the 1992 film "Deep Cover."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DEEP COVER")

DR. DRE: (Rapping) Yeah, and you don't stop.

SNOOP DOGG: (Rapping) Cause it's 1-8-7 on an undercover cop. Creep with me as I crawl though the hood. Maniac, lunatic...

MARTIN: So it might seem a little odd to see Snoop Dogg reinvent himself now decades later as the host of a cooking show and a game show, but NPR TV critic Eric Deggans says Snoop pulls it off.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Back in the day, there was no job on TV more square than the game-show host. That's why it was so odd to turn on TBS's new game show and hear this.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE JOKER'S WILD")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: The only show wild enough to do it doggy style. It's "The Joker's Wild."

DEGGANS: Snoop Dogg stars in a new version of "The Joker's Wild," calibrated to speak to his expertise. Contestants answer questions in categories with names like Froback (ph) Thursday - that's identifying stars by their afros - and Name That Strain.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE JOKER'S WILD")

JEANNIE MAI: Now, Snoop's going to read you three names of weed, but which one is made up?

DEGGANS: Snoop himself is a playful presence, cracking jokes centered on his penchant for consuming controlled substances - even when he gets a word wrong, as he did when naming several traditional songs in a clue.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE JOKER'S WILD")

SNOOP DOGG: Is it "Dayenu," "Hava Nagila" or "Hakuna Matata"?

(LAUGHTER)

SNOOP DOGG: You know they didn't give me no kind of class before I did this. You all got me out here just trying to figure it out.

(APPLAUSE)

SNOOP DOGG: Am I doing all right?

MAI: That was good.

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: Yeah.

DEGGANS: It's the kind of game show I would definitely waste a half-hour watching if I was home from work on a sick day. And this isn't the only TV show Snoop has on air right now. He's also co-starring with Martha Stewart in the Emmy-nominated - you heard right - Emmy-nominated cooking-slash-talk show on VH-1, "Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "MARTHA & SNOOP'S POTLUCK DINNER PARTY")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (Singing) You're now cooking with Martha and Snoop. You're now cooking with Martha and Snoop. You're cooking. You're cooking. You're now cooking with Martha and Snoop.

DEGGANS: It's a show where Stewart's stiff patrician vibe somehow plays well off Snoop Dogg's around-the-way style as they cook with celebrity guests.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "MARTHA & SNOOP'S POTLUCK DINNER PARTY")

SNOOP DOGG: We need a cocktail like a dog needs a bone. So what are you making me tonight?

MARTHA STEWART: Sangria - white sangria.

SNOOP DOGG: Is that Hennessy?

STEWART: Yes.

SNOOP DOGG: Lord have mercy.

(APPLAUSE)

DEGGANS: Snoop's emergence as a genial TV host is made possible because we've kind of forgiven him for his past as a self-professed pimp and hustler. That history now informs Snoop Dogg's distinctive TV presence - genial but with a dangerous past. He's a lovable, roguish ambassador - an entertaining bridge between youth culture and the straight-laced world of game shows and Martha Stewart that few could have predicted back when he was slinging rhymes on Death Row Records. I'm Eric Deggans.

(SOUNDBITE OF DR. DRE & SNOOP DOGG'S "NUTHIN' BUT A 'G' THANG") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.