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The show’s money shot came when the first-time host debuted Girl, a spiritual sequel to SNL‘s much-loved Girls parody from last year’s season opener. In Girl, Dunham and Girls costar Adam Driver (Taran Killam) told the story of Adam and Eve — Lena Dunham style.
Dunam’s Eve pestered Adam to define their relationship (“are we like, man and wife?”) and became angry on feminist grounds when he reassured her that she was part of him (“Literally. God made you from my rib, kid.”). Vanessa Bayer reprised her role as Shoshanna, playing the snake in the Garden of Eden story and convincing Eve to eat the infamous apple.
Eve’s response when God scolded her for the sin?
“Can you please not apple shame me right now? Seriously, I know I committed original sin, but at least it’s original.”
SNL totally hit it out of the park with its cold open, where Liam Neeson made a surprise appearance as himself to help President Obama (Jay Pharoah) condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin for moving troops into Crimea.
“Recently, I got a very disturbing call. Crimea had been taken. I hate it when things are taken,” Neeson said, before speaking into the camera to address Putin directly.
“Mr. Putin. Vladimir. I’ve never met you. I don’t have experience in international diplomacy. But what I do have is a very particular set of skills. Skills that would make me a nightmare for someone like you,” Neeson said, channeling his Taken character. “By which I mean I’m an actor. In Hollywood. With a lot of connections.”
New castmember Sasheer Zamata had her biggest role on SNL yet, playing Kerry Washington‘s Scandal character Olivia Pope — an interesting choice as Washington helped SNL mock the show’s lack of diversity back in November.
In the sketch, Olivia assigned impossibly difficult tasks to her team — who all were unfazed by the demands. That’s except for the newest member (Dunham), who got hung up on the logistics and asked endless questions about how they were going to accomplish these impossible tasks.
Dunham’s opening monologue got really awkward when castmembers — emboldened by her racy HBO show — kept wanting to tell her about their sex lives.
SNL also had plenty of fun with the Oscars, with Killam playing newly crowned best actor winner Matthew McConaughey. Wearing a white tux, McConaughey spoke in gibberish in the style of his much-talked-about Oscars speech: “Don’t congratulate me. Congratulate the man I was a week ago. Congratulate the man I’m chasing. Congratulate the man who never existed.”
Later, Pharoah starred in Pimpin’ Pimpin’ Pimpin With Katt Williams, where the 4/20 friendly comedian welcomed Liza Minnelli (Dunham) to ask ” How did you not whoop Ellen’s ass?” when the Oscars host joked she was a transvestite, and to tell Harrison Ford (Killam) the actor’s earring really wasn’t working for him: “Seeing Indiana Jones with an earring is like seeing Darth Vader in Uggs.” The kicker? Noel Wells reprised her role as Dunham.
The episode also saw cameos from Fred Armisen (playing one of Putin’s friends growing up) and Jon Hamm as the guest on a teen girls talk show.
SNL airs at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
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