'SNL's' Zooey Deschanel Hosted Episode Features Brief Tribute to Whitney Houston, Lots of Clint Eastwood (Video)
The episode also featured surprise appearances from Nicolas Cage and "The Artist" Star Jean Dujardin.
Saturday Night Live did not have much time to prepare a tribute for Whitney Houston, whose death was announced hours before the show went on the air. SNL acknowledged the loss by running a picture of Houston and former SNL cast member Molly Shannon.
Host Zooey Deschanel's presence was not felt particularly strongly in the episode. However, in one memorable segment The Artist star Jean Dujardin made an unexpected appearance to cheer up Deschanel's pouty French girl character as only an extended dance number can.
Among the more successful of the night's efforts were a serious of commercials parodying Clint Eastwood's much talked about "Half-Time in America" Super Bowl ad for Chrysler, in which the actor lent his grizzled charm to the American auto industry. Media critics thought it was Eastwood showing support fort he Obama administration's automotive industry bailout, a conclusion Eastwood denied.
In the SNL version of the ad, Bill Hader's Eastwood seems willing to promote just about everything, from Chryslers to condoms to tickets to next summer's The Dark Knight Rises.
"What's this commercial for again?" Eastwood asks after going on a political rant in which he says Ron Paul has "chicken legs."
"Oh right. Chrysler. Get a Chrysler, and get off my damn lawn."
Nicolas Cage appeared alongside Andy Samberg's version of Cage during Weekend Update.
"My dream as an actor is to appear in every film ever released. However until now I've only been able to muster a measly 90 percent," said Samberg as Cage.
He goes onto explain that the real Cage was his clone, which would presumably be used to appear in more films. The real Cage gets in a pot shot at Samberg's Cage, saying there are some personality differences between the two.
"This Nick is an exaggerated, screaming psychopath that really just doesn't' exist," he said, indicating Samberg.
SNL is new next week with SNL alumna Maya Rudolph hosting and music from Sleigh Bells.