“Saturday Night Live” took dead aim at the federal government’s struggle to get its healthcare Web site to work properly, and spoofed the new movie “12 Years a Slave” when actor Ed Norton guest-hosted the show Saturday on NBC.
The “Slave” sketch featured an added bonus: A surprise and very brief cameo appearance by Miley Cyrus, who twerked in costume as a Civil War-era southern woman.
The show, which featured musical guest Janelle Monae, also had one of our favorite recurring bits: Kenan Thompson as Steve Harvey. In this weekend’s spoof of Harvey’s afternoon talk show, the topic was Halloween.
The Obamacare spoof came at the start of the show (the “cold open”), with Kate McKinnon playing Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. secretary of health and human services, who is being widely blamed for the snafus that have derailed the launch of the president’s Affordable Care Act.
In the sketch, “Sebelius” had some not-so-helpful suggestions about how to make the experience of visiting the governments healthcare site more fruitful.
In the Steve Harvey spoof, “Harvey” welcomed a guest costume expert (played by Ed Norton) to give some advice about Halloween costumes.
The “12 Years a Slave” spoof was titled “12 Days NOT a Slave,” and it had Jay Pharoah as a newly freed slave enjoying his first dozen days of liberation. The thing was, he was the only one enjoying himself, since all the white people he encountered seemed inexplicably disgruntled.
Another sketch depended heavily on viewers’ familiarity with the films of esoteric director Wes Anderson, whose titles include “Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Darjeeling Limited” and “The Royal Tenenbaums.” The “SNL” Anderson spoof came in the form of a trailer for a new horror movie called “The Midnite Coterie of Sinister Intruders,” with narration by Alec Baldwin. In the sketch, Norton, who starred in “Moonrise Kingdom,” played Owen Wilson, who’s been seen in several Anderson movies. We loved Norton’s impersonation of Wilson — it was spot-on.