"Saturday Night Live" returned after a three week absence with "The Big Bang Theory's" Jim Parsons as host and a new "Weekend Update" co-anchor.
“I just wanted to say I’m so grateful and excited to be here tonight. Let’s do this,” Cecily Strong's new side-kick Colin Jost said, as he started to read the news for the first time. Jost, a staff writer for "SNL" since 2005 who became the show's head writer in 2012, replaced Seth Meyers, who is now hosting NBC's "Late Night."
Jost poked fun at Piers Morgan, Paula Deen, and Chris Christie.
"Pierce Morgan announced that he's stepping down from his low-rated CNN talk show. Morgan said he wants to spend more time gradually morphing into a potato," Jost quipped about the British journalist.
He also made fun of Paula Deen, who's been trying to stage a comeback afer her empire crumbled after she admitted using a racial slur.
“Paula Deen said this week that her struggles resulting from her use of the N-word were like those of gay football player Michael Sam, who she called ‘that black’ football player,” Jost said. “This according to her publicist’s suicide note.”
The 86th Annual Academy Awards taking place Sunday night was a hot topic on the show. To review the Oscar nominated films, Strong introduced "a man who's been around for all 86 Oscar ceremonies," 1860s bitter newspaper critic, Jebediah Atkinson (Taran McKillan) to give his opinions of not only this year’s films but also films from the past. He claimed to have seen all films from the “dawn of cinema” and was “not impressed” with any of them.
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“This year's nine best picture nominees are the worst movies ever made,” he said. When referring to "Her," Atkinson remarked, "Even the main character spent the whole movie texting."
Reflecting on films from years past he criticized, “You know what was missing on Schindler’s list? An editor.”
The cold open scene consisted of a mock segment of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" where an overly animated Ellen DeGeneres (Kate McKinnon) talked about how excited she was to host the Oscars.
“I can only hope that somewhere a guy name Oscar will be hosting the Ellens,” she said.
“Ya know what movie I love this year, ’12 Years a Slave,’" she said. "That’s about how I’ve been forced to dance on this show for the past 12 years."
Ellen introduced Johnny Weir (Jim Parsons), figure-skater-turned-TV-personality who received tons of attention for his outragous outfits during the Sochi Games and who will be covering Oscars fashion for Access Hollywood with retired figure skater Tara Lipinski.
When asked about his time in Russia, Weir responded, “I just sort of blended in.” And as for his sense of fashion, he credited his parents: “My mother is a school teacher and my father is a Christmas ornament."
In his opening monologue Parsons, said that after seven seasons of "The Big Bang Theory," he’s frequently confused with his character, Sheldon Cooper, and how he’s simply, “not that guy.”
Through a musical number Parsons explained he’s “not the creation you saw in syndication,” and used examples such as Jaleel White, (Jay Pharoah) and "Seinfeld's" Jason Alexander (Bobby Moynihan) who are not similar to their characters of Steve Urkel and George Costanza off TV.
In the “Oscar Profiles” sketch "SNL" spoofed the casting process for bit-part slave owners in Oscar-nominated “12 Years a Slave.”
Casting directors played by Vanessa Bayer and Cecily Strong were unintentionally putting actors in awkward situations by asking them to get more in character.
"SNL" castmember Mike O'Brien even pleaded, “please don’t make me do this.”
In this episode’s final Oscars-themed sketch, SNL brought back it’s Spotlightz Acting Camp segment, where child actors portrayed by Vanessa Bayer,Parsons and Sasheer Zamata reenacted nominated films including “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Gravity” and “Captain Phillips.” The “Spotlightz” production of these movies were slightly altered with an upbeat, child-friendly tone.
Musical guest Beck performed “Blue Moon,” and “Wave.”
Next week Lena Dunham will be hosting along with musical guest, National.