“Saturday Night Live” addressed the David Petraeus scandal in at least three different sketches this weekend, but it was a surprise appearance by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie that stole the show.
With the presidential campaign now long over, “SNL” needed another ripped-from-the-headlines story ready-made for comedic exploitation. So, along comes the absurd spectacle of Gen. Petraeus, his mistress/biographer, Paula Broadwell, and this Tampa socialite who ignited the whole public mess, Jill Kelley — just in the nick of time.
“SNL” — guest-hosted by Jeremy Renner with musical guest Maroon 5 — addressed the Petraeus mess in the show’s opening; in a sketch that spoofed Wolf Blitzer’s “Situation Room” on CNN; and, of course, on “Weekend Update.”
But Chris Christie’s appearance during “Weekend Update” had nothing to do with the Petraeus situation. Instead, Seth Meyers brought him on to talk about New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Christie came on wearing his now-famous fleece jacket with his name embroidered on it, and hilariously spoofed his own short temper and outspokenness.
On the Petraeus topic, “SNL” opened with a spoof of biographer Broadwell appearing on the C-Span series “Book Notes,” where Broadwell (played by Cecily Strong) read some erotic excerpts from her book.
Later, the Blitzer spoof (with Jason Sudeikis as Wolf) parodied a small, but noticeable aspect of TV news — namely, TV’s reliance on the same single snippet of video when news producers have little to choose from. In this case, the video being spoofed was a snippet of tape of Jill Kelley, in a pink dress, leaving her house and walking to her car.
As for Renner, he was game to spoof himself in a sketch of the “Avengers” movie in which he played the bow-and-arrow-wielding Hawkeye. In “SNL’s” version, however, he runs out of his paltry supply of arrows — calling into question the relative effectiveness of bows and arrows in modern comic-book warfare.
Renner was also featured in this next sketch, playing a man who is faced with the terrible task of identifying a dead body who is possibly his brother. The thing we wondered about this sketch, which is titled “Coroner”: Who came up with a comedy sketch set in a morgue? Or, more to the point: Why?