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Melissa McCarthy was Saturday Night Live’s host, but Peter Drunklage stole the show.
If you haven’t seen the episode, yes: that’s exactly what it sounds like. Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage showed up—gray haired and wasted—to Weekend Update to play the brother of Bobby Moynihan’s drunk uncle. The pair watch Thrones together, and also share an affinity for scotch, xenophobic rants, and Foreigner’s “I Want To Know What Love Is.” It’s as amazing as it sounds.
As host, McCarthy specialized in odd (and often ignorant) characters, most hilariously as a woman entering a ham-cooking competition who performs a ham-themed dance medley in the vein of Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon’s history of rap. Moynihan and Taran Killam play her piggy backup dancers.
McCarthy also tackled the firing of Rutgers coach Mike Rice, who was let go after video surfaced of him treating players abusively. SNL made McCarthy the coach of Middle Delaware State.
Coach Sheila Kelly becomes the subject of a TV news investigation, with footage showing McCarthy's character throwing bricks at players when they miss shots (“You want a brick!?”). She throws toasters at players, too. Why? "Because you’re toast!” She also abuses a poor assistant coach played by Jay Pharoah.
SNL has been off air for a month, so it hasn’t yet addressed North Korea’s recent nuclear posturing. The cold open made up for this, showing Kim Jong-un’s (Moynihan) not only announcing his nuclear ambitions, but also declaring his “evolving” views on same-sex marriage.
The supreme leader reveals that he was reversing the country’s ban on gay marriage, citing his gay nephew as inspiration. “I still had to have him executed, but not because he was gay," Jong-un says. The nephew was executed for hosting a weekly book discussion group. Jong-un also brags about bedding millions of women, and claims his NCAA bracket has been perfect. (Read a more detailed description of the cold open here.)
Castmember Kenan Thompson shined in a few spots, first in an advertisement for the rather gross product, the “bathroom businessman,” which he says will keep him from “flushing” his career down the toilet. The portable kit—including business staples such as a phone and printer—allows its user to continue to do work while on the toilet.
During Weekend Update, Thompson played NBA legend (and erstwhile NCAA commentator) Charles Barkley, who revealed he’s done so bad in his bracket that he’s now in deep with the bookies. He also admits to knowing nothing about college basketball.
“Wichita state? I didn’t even know Wichita was a state,” Barkely tells Seth Meyers. “Did you know Wichita state don’t even have no witches in it?”
The biggest disappointment of the episode? There was no mention of the big NBC news that Jimmy Fallon has officially been tapped to replace Jay Leno on the Tonight Show next year.
SNL is new next week with host Vince Vaughn, his first time taking up those duties since 1998. He’ll be joined by musical guest Miguel.
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