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MAR
11
3 YEARS

'SNL' Recap: Jonah Hill Plays Up Oscar Ego, Andy Samberg Does Awful Sarah Palin (Video)

Episode featured guest appearance by Tom Hanks and a cold open mocking Rush Limbaugh.

Tom Hanks and Jonah Hill
NBC

Jonah Hill is kind of a big deal. After all, this is an Oscar-nominee we’re talking about.

Hill strutted into his SNL hosting duties with ego totally out of check, ordering Andy Samberg to fetch him a diet coke (there would be a tip in it for him), and pulling out his phone to dial his close friend and Moneyball costar Brad Pitt (it turns out Pitt had given Hill a fake number).

All that and more was featured in a mini-documentary about Hill’s rehearsal week on SNL, which he showed during his opening monologue.

But after viewing the doc, Hill acknowledges his ego is out of control, and Oscar is to blame. Just then, the real Tom Hanks shows up to praise Hill for his realization, saying he too let Oscar go to his head.

VIDEO: '21 Jump Street' Clip Sees Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill as Vulgar Bike Cops

“After I won my second Academy Award in ’94,” Hanks says, “I asked my wife to sleep on the couch so that there would be enough room in bed for my Oscars to spread out.”

Last week on SNL, critics complained host Lindsay Lohan was little more than a backup player in the episode. That was not the case for Hill, who was front and center in multiple sketches. In by far the strangest one, Hill plays a scientist who has given a monkey the power of speech.

But recognition of this monumental achievement gets sidetracked when the monkey utters a strange phrase at a press conference: “He sex me.” Things get uncomfortable when the assembled journalists start asking Hill’s scientist and the monkey about their apparent sex life.

“I feel like what’s getting lost here is I made a monkey talk,” Hill’s scientist says.

'The show’s cold open played off the continued exodus of advertisers from the Rush Limbaugh Show. In real life, Rush Limbaugh has lost nearly 100 advertisers after he made controversial comments about a Georgetown University law student.

VIDEO: Jonah Hill on Preparing for 'Moneyball

But SNL’s Limbaugh (played by Taran Killam)insists this is not a problem. He has plenty of sponsors, and he goes on to list a few. There’s the Mosquito Breeders of America—for people who want more mosquitoes. There’s also Depends for Racists, and Pencil Dullers, essentially the opposite of a pencil sharpener.

Killam nailed Limbaugh’s cadence, but the sketch could have done more with the Limbaugh controversy than list sponsors with worthless products.

There was one SNL cast member who did not nail his impression, but that was intentional. During Weekend Update, Tina Fey was supposedly meant to appear as her trademark Sarah Palin, but Samberg shows up as Palin instead.

Jonah Hill to Receive the Israel Film Festival's Achievement in Film Award

He sounds more like a character from Fargo than Palin, and gets basic facts wrong about the former Alaska governor. Seth Meyers remarks that Samberg seems to know absolutely nothing about Palin, but Samberg is undeterred.

“I’m killing it,” he says.

SNL is next new April 7, with Modern Family star Sofia Vergara hosting and musical guest One Direction.