Jesse Eisenberg Leads SNL to One of Its Strongest Episodes This Season

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Host Jesse Eisenberg led SNL to one of its strongest episodes of the season, beginning with an opening monologue in which he nervously spoofed of his own persona (“a freight train of confidence”), before coming face-to-face with the man he so unflatteringly portrayed in The Social Network, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. They didn’t really do anything very clever with the encounter, but just having them stand together discussing the film in front of millions made for great live TV. Nice coup, Lorne Michaels.

There were several funny sketches, a highlight being the Bride of Blackenstein sketch, in which Jay Pharoah’s mad scientist presents his creature with female companionship, played by musical guest Nicky Minaj. The jokes were gleefully inappropriate. (On the Bride’s ample derriere: “Igor: So that’s why you had me fill those two basketballs with Jell-O!” Dr. Blackenstein: “Double Dribble, baybuh!”) Offensive? Pretty much. But funny.

Then there was a pretty amusing send-up of the whole Skins controversy at MTV, with Andy Samberg playing an obnoxious network executive who dismisses the sponsors abandoning the show (“We lost L’Oreal. You know, French Oreos.”), before cutting to a clip from the all-new Skins—now with more ghetto product placement!

Other highlights: Bill Hader as cranky-pants reporter Herb Welch; John Waters’s cameo in Digital Short music video “The Creep,” with vocals by Minaj; and Fred Armisen as a nervously sanguine Hosni Mubarak on Weekend Update.

What did you think of the show? Did Eisenberg measure up to some of the other great recent hosts, like Jon Hamm and Jane Lynch? Or did he De Niro up the place?

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