Everyone's favorite Nazi officer/German bounty hunter Christoph Waltz brought some religious comedic extremes as both Jesus Christ and Pope Benedict XVI to this week's "Saturday Night Live." Meanwhile, everyone's favorite over-hyped and over-hyper ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith returned to "Weekend Update" to offer Kobe Bryant some advice on shooting the ball.
Waltz, who spoofed his Austrian roots in the show's monologue, showed some serious comedic chops as Jesus H. Christ in an ad for "Djesus Uncrossed." Naturally, the "H" is silent. "He may be wearing sandals, but he can still kick ass." This time, forgiveness was replaced with some violent payback for the Romans who crucified him. Jesus even managed to find some Biblical-era machine guns and shotguns, one of which he uses on Judas (Samuel L. Jackson/Jay Pharoah). "When you get to Heaven, say hi to my dad." The Quentin Tarantino-esque film was a combination of "Inglorious Basterds" and "Django Unchained." Among the featured stars was Brat Pitt (Taran Killam) as St. Peter and Ving Rhames (Kenan Thompson) as Pontius Pilate. "Each of you owe me 100 Roman scalps," Peter tells his 11 fellow apostles. The reviews were already in, as critic A..O Smith calls it "a less violent version of 'Passion of the Christ.'"
There's no doubt the sketch will be deemed offensive by some. Offensive sketches used to be a staple of the show. This one is definitely not for the kids, before or after Sunday school. Check it out above and decide for yourself. This Christian was too busy laughing the first three times he saw it to be upset. Of course, the cries of double-standard given the fact that we'll likely never see a similar sketch having fun with the prophet Muhammador the Hindu god of Ganesha go without saying. Even though we just did.
Not even Smith could have been offended by Pharoah's solution to the Lakers' problems.
Smith had no trouble dropping names and telling everyone about how close he was to Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, while at the same time spelling it out that no one on the Lakers but Bryant should ever shoot the ball. "When Dwight Howard lost his virginity, I was on his chest in a Baby Bjorn," Smith claims.
Waltz starred as Pope Benedict XVI - and looked much like a much-younger version of the Holy Father - in a filmed commercial for "Papal Securities." The financial firm is there to help the Pope pay his bills after he's no longer Pope. Benedict is shown doing some of the same things that retired folks do - including cooking with a "Bless This Mess" apron. The spot also offered a spot-on historic nod to the Pope's retirement by saying "No Other Testimonials" were available.
Overall, this week's episode was one of the season's best, with Waltz showing some comedic skills in those filmed spots in addition to some refreshing variety and a return to a focus on current events.
The cold opening featured insight into what the poor cruise directors on the ill-fated Carnival Triumph must have gone through while trying to keep a happy face on the ship's woes. They tried to read the news of the day, which featured North Korea's nuclear bomb test, and realized that wouldn't cheer up the passengers, either.
Smith was preceded by Marco Rubio (Killam) earlier during "Weekend Update," as the show delivered its very-expected and almost-mandatory take on "Watergate." It went as pretty much everyone would have predicted. With Rubio explaining himself before being unable to complete three sentences in his re-take on the speech, thanks in part to eating cinnamon before his appearance. Folks who stuck around late in the show were treated to another send-up of "Fox and Friends" worth watching just for the corrections.
Kate McKinnon continued her spectacular first-full season on the show with a gut-busting appearance as Russian peasant woman who was disappointed the meteor that stuck that country last week didn't end her miserable life.
Kevin Hart hosts in two weeks and he'll have a tough act to follow. Next week, SNL will air a repeat of its Christmas show featuring Martin Short and Paul McCartney.
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