‘SNL’ With Daniel Craig: Brought to You By the Letter B. For Big Bird. 


I’d like to start this recap by thanking the two presidential candidates, Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama for all their hard work this week. Without them, 75 percent of Daniel Craig’s fantastic SNL episode wouldn’t have existed. There would be no opening sketch with a Chris Parnell cameo and a sleeping Obama. There would be no Rachel Maddow Show skit with Jason Sudeikis’ surprisingly on-point Chris Matthews impression. And most importantly, we wouldn’t have witnessed the greatness that was Seth Meyers’ dad-joke-tastic interview with Big Bird. (Yeah, that one.)

After Romney said it was time to cut the large feathered friend off the government teat, Big Bird swooped by SNL to plead his case to Seth. Of course, by plead his case, we mean he spent his interview being adorable, lovable, tall, and surprisingly topical. 

Of course, Weekend Update kept the magic going with an impression of Cecila Gimenez, the woman who ruined her restoration of a Jesus fresco and turned the son of God into a mouthless werewolf. Luckily, “she” was ready to defend her hilarious painting from Seth’s impeccable logic. Kate McKinnon is quickly becoming one of the go-to comedians on the new SNL.

But, alas, we must discuss the man of the hour: Daniel Craig. Who knew this guy was funny? Or at least cool enough to hang with the funny people to hilarious effect? His opening monologue was an homage to all this silver screen ass-kicking, and unlike Jimmy Kimmel’s self-facing in-memoriam at the Oscars, Craig’s in memoriam of all the bad guys he’s wasted on-screen was both terrifying and chuckle-worthy.

Of course, Craig got the chance to work his chops as an American for a sketch that might be a little New York-specific, but was hilarious none the less. Craig played a Joe Schmo construction worker who couldn’t quite get the hang of your average woman-heckling session.

Craig also held his own as a divorcee who’s introducing his new girlfriend (Fred Armisen in yet another dress) to his friends. Besides her being Fred Armisen in a dress, Regine (the female version of Reggie, in case you were curious) is a stuffy intellectual who only wants to talk about books and drink Henricks gin (with ice on the side). To make matters worse, Craig’s sad sap loves nothing more than to kiss Regine’s neck and inspire looks of horror (or what Lady Fred Armisen calls an O-face). He wasn’t really doing the heavy lifting here, but he certainly added a little something. 
Of course, you don’t bring Bond on and not have him be Bond. So the episode included a skit full of “the Bond girls you don’t remember.” The skit was so-so, especially Nasim Petrad’s Lea Michele impression, which basically consisted of a terrible sweater and singing all of her lines. Stick to the Kardashian Klan, Nasim. 
And while you’d think two skits about the debates and a visit from Big Bird might be overkill, the veteran sketch show figured out a way to make the most boring debate in decades funny. Twice. First, to open the episode, Chris Parnell returned to deliver his best Jim Lehrer while Jay Pharoah’s Obama got sleepy from the Denver altitude and dreams of his wife while Sudeikis’ Mitt Romney steamrolled him. There’s nothing too innovative here, but it was a well-executed joke born out of everything the majority of Americans were thinking on Wednesday night. 
The second sketch seemed to be overkill, but was actually more about the Liberal pundits trying to justify Obama’s disappointing debate performance. Cecily Strong jumped right into her Rachel Maddow impression (which is worlds better than the choppy dude she attempted later in the episode in a skit about a man who brings his cat to space); Kenan Thompson delivered his Al Sharpton to hilarious perfection, excusing Obama’s sleepy delivery with a wacky theory about a Freaky Friday style body swap; but best of all was Sudeikis’ exasperated Chris Matthews, which proved that while Sudeikis’ good impressions are few, they’re solid. 
As usual, not every skit was a slam dunk, but even the stinker of the evening – the aforementioned space skit – was saved by Bobby Moynihan’s hilarious and extremely obnoxious cat lover stuck in space. Plus, I’m prone to give 10 bonus points to any sketch that includes a live kitten with adorable tufted ears. When in doubt, just make it a cat video. 

Which skit was your favorite?


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