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The opening featured a riff on the much ballyhooed first presidential debate of 2012 featuring a special appearance by Saturday Night Live alum Chris Parnell as debate moderator Jim Lehrer. As usual Jay Pharaoh and Jason Sudeikis played Obama and Romney respectively. The sketch was pretty good but not gut bustingly funny as the audience got to listen to Obama’s inner thoughts during the debate. Barack was distracted by forgetting his wife’s anniversary, which happened to be the same day as the debate, and was mainly thinking of gifts he could get her, which is what caused his poor performance. As Romney prattled on about his 41-point plan, Obama, using a popular excuse by TV news pundits, then began to get sleepy because of the altitude. Also given was a snippet from Lehrer’s brain after Romney said he would stop paying for PBS.
Daniel Craig didn’t seem completely at ease with his monologue as he rushed through most of it, not really knowing when to stop or how long to stop for audience applause. It was pretty cut and dry until the end where Craig held an “In Memoriam” segment, akin to those of the Oscars or Emmys for people who had died that year, that featured all of the people he has killed in his movies. This was pretty good but could have been better if Saturday Night Live was able to acquire more rights to show clips from a wider range of his movies, as it stands they only got the rights for Craig’s two released James Bond movies and Cowboys & Aliens.
• The first commercial of the night was a spoof of the new James Bond movie collection. The commercial focused on having all the Bond Girls in one boxed set, but these Bond Girls were of the lesser-known variety. Featuring some really good impersonations of the Bond Girls included Jodie Foster, Peggy Marshall in gold paint (played by Fred Armisen), Diane Keaton, and Lea Michele in fake movies such as Hippopottapussy. It was definitely a pretty funny commercial that utilized Craig’s talents well.
• Saturday Night Live did a good job this week playing off of Craig’s cool and wealthy Brit as many of his skits featured him in a very unsuave light, especially the first sketch. Craig was a typical New York construction worker who was horrible at catcalls, albeit not for the lack of trying. In the weirdest sketch of the night Craig also played a man at a dinner party introducing his new girlfriend, again played by Armisen, to his friends. The couple openly flaunted their sexuality for each other and ended up almost making every actor in the sketch laugh, especially Armisen.
• Weekend Update deserves a shout out this week for two Sesame Street-related elements. First and foremost, the real Big Bird was a guest this week and in a smart move, Big Bird was himself. Saturday Night Live did not try to punch up Big Bird by giving him raunchy things or cuss words to say, he remained the Big Bird everyone has come to know and love, which was smart. Once Big Bird left Seth made a callback joke to “hoping Big Bird was gone” when he launched into a really crazy sexual story. Also, Seth had a good joke riffing off of Romney’s declaration that he would cut funds from PBS because he didn’t want to borrow money from China to fund it, saying he “wondered why [a recent episode] of Sesame Street was brought to you by the letter this” as he pointed to his graphic that featured the iconic Sesame Street street sign and underneath it was a Chinese alphabet character.