Guest-host Vince Vaughn had nothing to do with the two most talked-about segments seen on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend.
One was a Bill Hader performance as Al Pacino in a spoof promo spot for a new series of HBO movies in which the gravel-voiced Pacino stars as various notorious murderers (both convicted and alleged).
The other was a “mockumentary” about an early ’80s English punk band — Ian Rubbish and the Bizarros. It told the story of bandleader Rubbish (played by Fred Armisen), who was known as the angriest man in punk rock, but who, contrary to expectations, loved the late Margaret Thatcher when she was prime minister.
Through interviews with ex-bandmates (Taran Killam and Bill Hader), the mockumentary revealed how Rubbish’s songs praising Thatcher led to the breakup of the group.
This sketch was a total scream, especially for those of us old enough to have lived during the punk-rock era.
A clip of the Bizarros being interviewed on a late-night talk show of the time was also shown — echoing a notorious appearance by the Sex Pistols on Tom Snyder’s old “Tomorrow” show in which the Pistols were so uncooperative and vulgar (among other things, they were spitting on the floor) that the chain-smoking Snyder threw them off the show.
In the Pacino bit, the actor was shown playing the title roles in HBO movies about Jack Kevorkian and Phil Spector (the real-life movies that formed the basis for this parody), and then playing everyone from Unabomber Ted Kaczynski to Amanda Knox.
Besides the death this past week of Great Britain’s “Iron Lady,” another news story spoofed by “SNL” this weekend was the “controversy” that arose over a song called “Accidental Racist,” a joint venture of country star Brad Paisley and rapper LL Cool J. The song, with its lyrics about a southern man who wore a T-shirt with an image of the Confederate flag on it, started a national conversation about race.
On “SNL,” the song’s collaborators turned up on “Weekend Update” to explain the song to anchorman Seth Meyers. LL Cool J was played by Kenan Thompson; Jason Sudeikis played Paisley.
Vince Vaughn did figure into a number of sketches, however — including one about an acting troupe whose members had memory problems.
The episode, seen Saturday night on NBC, opened with “SNL’s” take on this past week’s gun-control compromise legislation.