Fans of Showtime’s “Homeland” could definitely appreciate a “Saturday Night Live” sketch that poked fun at the super-serious terrorist-fighting drama starring Claire Danes as a mentally unbalanced CIA operative.
But if you’re not a member of the “Homeland” faithful, then the sketch — seen Saturday night on “SNL” with guest-host Anne Hathaway playing the Danes role — may have been lost in translation.
For those of us in the know, however, Hathaway’s over-the-top portrayal of the unglued Carrie (the Danes character) — along with Bill Hader as Saul (the Mandy Patinkin role), Kenan Thompson as David Estes (David Harewood) and Taran Killam as Brody (Damien Lewis) — struck a hilarious chord. And when Nasim Pedrad turned up as Brody’s teen daughter Dana (played by Morgan Saylor on the Showtime series), it was icing on the cake.
For Hathaway, it was her third time as “SNL” guest-host. She was joined on the show by musical guest Rihanna, who sang two songs — “Diamonds” and “Stay.”
Certainly, we are accustomed to “SNL” spoofing movies and TV shows, but art history? We can’t remember a time when this show set its sights on an icon of the art world, so we really paid attention when this sketch about the painting known as “American Gothic” came on the show.
The sketch had Hathaway and “SNL” regular Jason Sudeikis as the two stern-faced Iowans posing with a pitchfork in front of a weather-beaten farm house for the painting created by Grant Wood in 1930. The sketch purported to show how the artist — who was heard off-camera but not seen — got his two subjects to pose after entertaining their own light-hearted, but inappropriate ideas.
We liked how the sketch acknowledged the painting’s current location, in the Art Institute of Chicago, where it has long been a part of the permanent collection. In fact, Thompson — as a gallery tour guide — even mentioned another iconic American painting, Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” — which resides in the same gallery. What can we say? We appreciate accuracy in our comedy.
With the long presidential campaign having come to an end on Tuesday, we wondered how “SNL” would mark the occasion days later on Saturday night. Well, what happened was: The show dealt with it right away, opening this weekend’s episode with a sketch starring Sudeikis as Mitt Romney, at home contemplating his defeat.
In the military, camouflage is used for purposes of concealment. But when Rihanna goes camo, the effect is anything but invisible.