‘SNL’ Recap: Candidates Nearly Come to Blows in Debate Spoof

by | October 21, 2012 at 9:59 AM | Saturday Night Live, TV News

Jason Sudeikis (top left) and Jay Pharoah (top right) debated on "SNL," which also featured surprise guest Tom Hanks (lower right), Taran Killam as Brad Pitt (center) and guest host Bruno Mars (Photos: NBC)

What would have happened if the two presidential candidates had really taken off the gloves — both literally and figuratively — in last week’s very contentious debate in Long Island?

The result may have looked something like the spoof of the debate that opened this weekend’s episode of “Saturday Night Live” on NBC.

In the spoof — featuring Jason Sudeikis as Mitt Romney and Jay Pharoah as President Obama — the two candidates did more than just circle each other uncomfortably, as they did in real life last week.

In the “SNL” spoof, they engaged in brutal trash talk, challenged each other to fight outside, and even exchanged a few pokes.

They did all this while taking questions from an audience of outspoken, fictional Long Islanders — one of whom was played by surprise guest Tom Hanks.

Elsewhere on the show, Taran Killam parodied Brad Pitt in a re-creation of Pitt’s new commercial for Chanel No. 5 perfume, in which the movie star is seen in black-and-white addressing a camera and reciting a script that doesn’t actually reference the product he’s selling.

The episode was hosted by singer/songwriter Bruno Mars, who was also the evening’s musical guest. There was even a very quick promo announcing an upcoming guest-host who will be hosting “SNL” for the very first time — Louis C.K., who’s scheduled for Nov. 3. But first, the highlights of this Saturday’s show, starting with:

Watch the “SNL” debate spoof, with surprise guest Tom Hanks:

The Brad Pitt Chanel ad campaign, which began to appear this past week, was so unusual that it was bound to be parodied (the first spoof we saw was on Conan O’Brien’s late-night show on TBS last week). And “SNL” liked the comedy potential of this ad so much that it did four spoofs of it on the show Saturday night. Our observation about this ad is: When something like this is already so over-the-top, it can be a real challenge to then try and exaggerate it even further for the sake of satirizing it.

Watch what “SNL” did with it, starting with the first one:
And here’s the second one:

Bruno Mars was an interesting choice as guest host. We don’t know much about him — especially whether he was up to the challenge of the breakneck, comedic acting required on “SNL.” He caught our eye in this next sketch, though, holding his own with Taran Killam and Bill Hader (Bruno’s the guy on the far right).

Watch this “Amusement Park” sketch from Saturday’s “SNL”:
Now watch Bruno do what he does best — sing:
As always, we have the entire episode of “SNL,” right here: