Being an Avenger is a tough gig, what with all the saving Manhattan from aliens (as in the original “Avengers” movie) or battling terrifying sentient robots (as in “Avengers: Age of Ultron”).
Still, there are perks. Some of the Marvel team’s iconic superheroes, like Thor and Iron Man, star in standalone flicks. But so far, Scarlett Johansson’s character Black Widow has gone without her own movie.
That changed with Johansson’s hosting appearance on “Saturday Night Live.”
Saturday’s episode featured a trailer for “Black Widow: Age of Me,” a rom-com from the writers of “27 Dresses,” in which Johansson’s martial arts expert juggles an internship at a fashion magazine and budding relationship with her boyfriend — who just might happen to be a certain megalomaniacal robot.
In her opening monologue, Johansson serenaded Kenan Thompson and Taran Killam with a “lullaby” she sings to help her baby daughter fall asleep, although it had a decidedly different effect on the two men.
In the cold open sketch, the cast abandoned NBC’s daylong programming of hockey, Kentucky Derby and night golf — “without a doubt, one of the whitest days in the history of sports” — and broadcasted a pirated feed of the boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.
The visuals, however, were a bit distorted. Mayweather (Jay Pharoah) appeared bit taller, while Pacquiao (Aidy Bryant) looked like a white woman with a fake goatee and a t-shirt.
Never one to shy from political satire, "SNL" also found some bleak humor in this week's unrest in Baltimore. In a broadcast from Camden Yards, Orioles commentators Jim Palmer (Killam) and Frank Robinson (Thompson) tried to narrate the game, which was held in an empty stadium as violent protests rocked Baltimore.
“Well, the White Sox are coming in after winning two on the road, but Baltimore has just been on fire this week,” Robinson said, before grimacing. "I'm sorry."
And in the video short “Blazer,” renegade cop Detective Don Blazer (Killam) dished out tough-guy street justice (even against Wiz Khalifa) in the only way he knew how: with unabashed racial prejudice.
Another sketch featured Virgin America’s first fully automated flight attendants (Johansson and Vanessa Bayer), who admittedly had a few faulty circuits and an internal clock that dated to last Halloween.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (McKinnon), a.k.a. “Notorious RBG,” returned to “Weekend Update” to explain her comments during the court’s recent marriage equality case — and, as usual, direct a few “Gins-burns” at fellow justice Antonin Scalia.
“Next time, I’m just gonna put a crumpled-up black cocktail napkin in my place—no one will know I’m gone,” the perpetually feisty justice crowed. “The arguments I heard were so weak, I just hope they weren’t holding up Justice Scalia’s chair.”
Co-host Colin Jost also welcomed “Game of Thrones” characters Samwell Tarley (Bobby Moynihan) and Gilly (Bayer), the show’s de facto “hottest couple” by virtue of the fact that they are the show’s only surviving couple.
“It’s not easy being thrust into the spotlight,” the lumpy Tarley said.
“Everyone’s lookin’ at me now,” Gilly whined, “wondering what kind of rags will I be wearin’, what will I be complainin’ about, how sick will my baby be?”
And on a day of wall-to-wall sports coverage, co-host Michael Che introduced Charles Barkley (Thompson) and Shaquille O’Neill (a cross-eyed Pharoah) to talk the NBA Playoffs, even though they got a little distracted.
Khalifa entertained the Studio 8H crowd with performances of “We Dem Boyz” and “See You Again.”
“SNL” returns May 9 for its penultimate episode of the season, hosted by Reese Witherspoon and featuring musical guest Florence & the Machine.