"Saturday Night Live" began its 38th season with Seth MacFarlane as host and a joke delivered in incredibly bad taste - even for the guy who brought us "Family Guy," "American Dad" and "Ted."
Korean pop sensation Psy, who attended Boston University and the Berklee College of Music, showed up to rock, rap and ride "Gangnam Style" at the end of a "Lids" skit (above) mocking his red-hot rhythmic dance video, which has more than 181 million You Tube views.
Speaking of bad jokes, MacFarlane - a Connecticut native and Rhode Island School of Design grad - closed the show wearing a black-and-green-"B" Red Sox hat. We know he's no Pink Hat and he deserves props for showing his fandom on stage in New York - especially during this disastrous season.
Politics dominated this week and brought out its top moments. In the biggest non-surprise of the night and its highlight - Bill Hader reprised his high-pants Clint Eastwood for an "Eastwood and Chair" taped commercial segment (above) hyping the actor's supposed upcoming comedy tour.
Eastwood has it out with various chairs standing in for Chris Christie "I think we'll need a bigger chair", Jimmy Carter "nice work on those hostages" and Michael Bloomberg "just let people eat soda" and was funny for Republicans and Democrats alike, and probably even a few independents. "You want me to do what to myself?"
Jay Pharaoh was introduced as the new President Obama in the show's opening by the former President Obama - Fred Armisen. Pharaoh's version of Obama was more flip, hard-edged and biting than his predecessor's. Meanwhile, Jason Sudeikis continued his super-square portrayal of Mitt Romney and the just-married Taran Killam played Paul Ryan. "I said I could do 100 situps in five seconds. What I meant was I could do five situps eventually..." See for yourself.
Seth Meyers' "Weekend Update" was loaded with election-themed one-liners.
Earlier, this hilarious spoof Obama ad that attacked Romney's inability to cover his mouth while sneezing in a hospital room "as he stopped by to tell us we no longer have health insurance" and Bain Capital's amazing ability to target a lone worker with multiple layoffs as he jumped from job to job - among their other alleged shortcomings.
"Weekend Update" also featured MacFarlane - in his highpoint of the night - crushing the dim-witted Ryan Lochte trying to preview the upcoming TV season.
In his monologue, MacFarlane began by saying he loved the show since he was a kid and carried through on a self-made promise that if he ever hosted the show, he'd begin by asking "Please go out with me, Farrah Fawcett?"
Some in the audience laughed. Many elsewhere cringed.
Fawcett died of cancer in 2009 after a very public and prolonged struggle with the disease. MacFarlane's characters have no boundaries when it comes to taste - but this line was over the line even for him, especially seeking it delivered in person on live television as opposed to coming from a fictional cartoon persona, stuffed bear or through someone else's voice.
MacFarlane played a stuttering Army drill sergeant, a Steve Harvey-lookalike and an overwhelmed puppeteer and earned a few laughs. However, he's much funnier in the director's chair or behind the microphone voicing the likes of Ted, Peter Griffin, Quagmire, Brian and Stewie, all of whom were featured in his monologue to big laughs. Given the inflated expectations and MacFarlane's incredible creativity - his presence beyond that was a letdown. He's very funny, even brilliant, just not guest-hosting SNL. "Ted" was spectacular. But the rest of this week's show was funnier than MacFarlane was.
Frank Ocean was the musical guest. That allowed us to drop in on the AMC re-broadcast of "Goodfellas" a couple of times as Henny Youngman still delivered the best lines of the night.
Andy Samberg, Abby Elliott and Kristin Wiig left the show after last season. The newcomers were Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson and Cecily Strong. Robin himself - Joseph Gordon-Levitt - will return as host Sept. 22 and James Bond, also known as Daniel Craig these days, hosts on Oct. 6.
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