In a strong episode hosted by comedian Louis C.K., “SNL” helped lighten the post-Sandy mood but without being too heavy-handed or comparing the storm to Sept. 11 (as Mayor Michael Bloomberg did, to some criticism, when attempting to keep the New York City marathon from being canceled). C.K. did address the seriousness of the storm damage, however, in a separate letter to his fans sent prior to the show.
The cold open gently teased the mayor, played by Fred Armisen, as he addressed the city and pointed out that his ban on giant sugary sodas probably prevented the deaths of many obese New Yorkers who would have otherwise floated down the Hudson River. The main thrust of the sketch, however, was Bloomberg’s sign language interpreter, riffing off the popular expressive signing of Lydia Callis. Cecily Strong enjoyed a standout moment as the interpreter, pushing out her ears to indicate Barack Obama. Then, Bobby Moynihan stepped in to play New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (with all his conflicting feelings of bipartisanship) along with his own distinctively big-haired, gum-chewing Jersey interpreter. “Sleep with one eye open, Sandy!” Moynihan threatened. It was a silly, lighthearted way to acknowledge the impact of the storm as well as the spirit of those impacted.
The super storm was acknowledged twice more in the episode, once in “Fox and Friends,” as Jason Sudeikis portrayed Donald Trump, who reassured viewers that “I want to put all of New Yorkers’ minds at ease: Hurricane Sandy has in no way affected the shooting of ‘Celebrity Apprentice: All-Stars.’” Louis C.K. played a FEMA worker frustrated by the cluelessness of the show’s hosts, who said things like: “It’s better to drink spoiled milk rather than no milk at all!” (Note to “SNL” writers: You could make a few easy bucks by publishing a book of all the corrections run at the end of each of those sketches.)
The show’s writers also mixed politics with the storm in Weekend Update, which featured gems like “New York City’s flooded subway system may be running by full capacity next week, which would be amazing because it never has before.” Sudeikis’ Mitt Romney made one last pre-election appearance, too, as he reminded voters who may have forgotten, after Sandy, that he exists. “In these trying times I think there is something very important that a lot of people are forgetting.… I’m Mitt Romney and I’m still running for president.”
“SNL” returns with a new episode next week as Anne Hathaway hosts and Rihanna returns as the musical guest.
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