James Bond and Big Bird shared the spotlight on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" this week.
The latest Bond, - Craig, Daniel Craig - hosted. As far as Bond goes, 50 never looked so good, especially when the guy playing him is only 44. Ian Fleming's super-spy celebrates his cinematic golden jubilee this year with "Skyfall" on Nov. 9. That premiere (advance tickets on sale now!) will give us something to look forward to after the election and before the start of hockey season - which might come by Inauguration Day.
Last time we saw Craig (born in 1968 six years after Bond's official film debut in "Dr. No"), he was sky-diving with Queen Elizabeth II to open the 2012 London Olympics. Not surprisingly, this week on SNL, he took an early and often back seat to this past week's presidential debate. Craig still rates a 9.5 on the Cool Scale even after "Cowboys and Aliens," but cool doesn't always translate to funny and Craig offered a limited license to laugh. Viewers were neither shaken nor stirred.
This week's highlight came when a very tired Big Bird (clip above) joined Seth Meyers during "Weekend Update" about "seven hours past his bed time." The iconic "Sesame Street" character learned he was mentioned in the debate after "getting a million tweets" but passed on making any statements on the election or Mitt Romney's vow to cut federal funding for PBS because he didn't want to "ruffle any political feathers." Needless to say, the eight-foot tall Big Bird towered over Meyers as they sat together behind the anchor desk. Big Bird offered this political joke: "Who know who loves debates? De fishes." Sound it out, you'll get it.
In the show's opening, Jay Pharoah (President Barack Obama) and Jason Sudeikis (Romney) delivered their version of what 70 million or so Americans watched this past Wednesday night. Obama, apparently, had his 20th anniversary on his mind and was slightly distracted during the debate by Denver's altitude. Moderator Jim Lehrer (the back-for-the-night Chris Parnell) was a bit more shaken over Romney's PBS remark. Given the stellar history of various SNL presidential debate sketches over the years - especially the classic George W. Bush "Strategery" vs. Al Gore "Lockbox" send-up from 2000 or the George H.W. Bush vs. Michael "I can't believe I'm losing to this guy." Dukakis classic from 1988, this one fell painfully flat.
Much funnier: MSNBC delivered "A Look Back At The Obama Debate Disaster" - which the network called "The Worst Thing That Ever Happened Anywhere." Sudeikis slammed it as the apoplectic Chris Matthews while Keenan Thompson was again viciously funny as a babbling Al Sharpton struggling to find real and imagined (mostly imagined) excuses for the president's performance in Denver. Denver "is a mile high, and there's no way to know for sure how many feet that is."
Before Big Bird's fly-by, Meyers made sure "Weekend Update" was laced with political jabs at both candidates and Lehrer who "looked like an out-of-towner trying to hail a cab at rush hour" during a "Winners and Losers" segment. Among Meyers' winners: "America. Is there anything more exciting than Joe Biden thinking it's up to him to get the lead back. It's Tebow time. There's a 50-percent chance he'll come out for the next debate with his shirt off."
New cast member Kate McKinnon - who has brought Ann Romney to life on the show and gave her a wicked delicious edge when ripping her husband's critics - was hilarious as the "Long Island Medium." Definitely a Jets fan.
In the monologue, Craig said there were so many great actors playing "James Bond" before me including "Sean Connery and ..." Craig then paid tribute to several of the movie characters whom he has killed, including "The Dog Who Saw Too Much" from "Cowboys and Aliens."
Craig was at his best when helping hawk a "new" James Bond 50th anniversary DVD set featuring some lesser-known, not-quite-as-sexy Bond girls from the past six decades that we may have missed, such as Jodie Foster, Diane Keaton, Ellen Degeneres, Penny Marshall and Molly Ringwald.
It's been a big week for the Queen's favorite "00" spy. A pair of "unwashed" swim trunks worn by Craig in the Bond film "Casino Royale" sold for £44,450 ($71,742) Friday at a charity auction in London while an Aston Martin DB5 driven by Craig in "Quantum Of Solace" fetched £241,250 ($389,377).
Both were worth every pence.
Craig's performance on SNL this week, however, fell a few shillings short.
He could have used more prep time this week as he struggled with the cue cards all night. He tried his hand a being a sexist New York construction worker without much success thanks to a traumatic childhood memory, led a space ship with one feline-crazed crew member and a real-live cat and was a bit more natural in a BBC series skit. He got a little raunchy with Fred Armisen (in drag, course) in the show's final sketch. The show closed with a re-run of the "Undecided Voters" commercial that first aired Sept. 22.
Muse was the musical guest.
Christina Applegate hosts next week.
Don't forget to join us Sunday at 4 p.m. for our in-game Patriots-Broncos fan chat. Maybe we'll run into the next manager of the Red Sox sometime earlier in the day. As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page or e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org. And don't forget to follow us on Twitter @realOBF.
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