“Saturday Night Live” took aim at two icons of the right wing as Jonah Hill guest-hosted the show on NBC.
The show seized the opportunity to lampoon Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin because the two were in the news this past week.
The show’s poke at Palin was especially timely because on the same evening, Saturday, HBO was premiering its savage Sarah Palin movie, “Game Change,” starring Julianne Moore in an extremely unflattering portrayal of the former Republican candidate for president.
Limbaugh was in the news for another reason: He was widely criticized for lambasting a Georgetown University law student and activist, Sandra Fluke, for remarks she made in a congressional hearing in which she called for easier access to contraceptives for women. On his radio show, Limbaugh called her a “slut” and a “prostitute,” then lost a handful of advertisers. “SNL” opened the show with its Limbaugh bit, featuring Taran Killam as Limbaugh.
Later, it was Andy Samberg’s turn to take aim at the right when he appeared as Palin on “Weekend Update.” He was an interesting choice to play the former Alaska governor, since Tina Fey is the one most closely associated with the character on “SNL.” In fact, the bit acknowledged right up front that Tina would have been first choice for this sketch. Could it be that Tina’s done with playing Palin? And more importantly, can Andy Samberg top Tina?
But the real star of the show, as always, was the guest-host — in this case, Jonah Hill. In his opening monologue, Hill made repeated references to his placement among the Hollywood A-listers in the audience at the Academy Awards last month. He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for “Moneyball” and his monologue was all about the Oscars. “Even though ‘The Artist’ won Best Picture, I still think ‘Moneyball’ was one of the year’s best talkies!” he said. He then showed a short film, which was hilarious.
And in another sketch, Jonah played a scientist who taught an ape to talk, but the scientific breakthrough backfired when the ape talked a little too much. It was a clever premise that “evolved” into something icky.