SNL's Charles Barkley Episode: Best Scenes

[Charles Barkley, back hosting SNL for the third time, was versatile and funny, if sometimes a bit stiff. His brief but sharp monologue centered on his new gig as a Weight Watchers spokesman ("I am so hungry; please forgive me if I eat one of you tonight...") and took shots at his old rival Michael Jordan. The episode was heavily sports-themed, but electoral politics also had their due—with Andy Samberg as Rick Santorum in the cold open ("If the lesbians don't get me, the Mormon death squads probably will...") and Kristin Wiig as Michele Bachmann on Weekend Update, discussing her departure from the race.]

Some highlights...

White People Problems—Charles Barkley takes an unflinching look at such horrifying Caucasian crises as bungled airline reservations, chicken that may not be organic, and summer house scheduling snafus:





For a world with so much unintelligible postgame commentary, Charles Barkley presents the Postgame Translator App—a handy device that cuts through the B.S. (featuring explicated commentary by Dwayne Wade, Bill Belichick, Andy Reid, Rex Ryan, vintage Charles Barkley, and more...):





Inside the NBA: co-hosts Kenny Smith (Jay Pharaoh), Ernie Johnson (Bill Hader), Shaquille O'Neal (Charles Barkley), and Charles Barkley (Kenan Thompson) do anything but discuss basketball in a loopy sendup of TNT's postgame analysis show:





Weekend Update—"Drunk Uncle" (Bobby Moynihan) discusses 2012 New Year's resolutions, unleashes a series of drunken non sequiturs ("The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo? Not in my house..."), and invites viewers to contact him (at "wwww.Is This America.?.No It Isn't.Immigrants"):





Lord Cecil Wyndemere, the 48-year-old knickers-wearing pixie (Paul Brittain), joins Jason Sudeikis, Charles Barkley, Bobby Moynihan, and Andy Samberg on game day for an afternoon of male bonding:





Also: ESPN Bowl Madness—it's bowl season on ESPN (featuring such matchups as Buffalo State vs. Wheaton College in the Hanes Her Way Prejudice Bowl); Ron Jeremy (Bobby Moynihan) and Chrystal Butt (Abby Elliott) present a montage of professionals lost to the porn industry this year (including Charles Barkley as "the Dongfather") at the 17th annual Adult Video Awards; Kristin Wiig suffers some severe Chantix side effects during a smoking-cessation commercial.

Musical guest Kelly Clarkson performed "What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)" and "Mr. Know It All"

NEXT WEEK: Daniel Radcliffe, with musical guest Lana Del Rey.

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Sage Stossel is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and draws the cartoon feature "Sage, Ink." She is author/illustrator of the graphic novel Starling, and of the children's books  On the Loose in Boston and On the Loose in Washington, DC. More

On Election Day in 1996, TheAtlantic.com launched a weekly editorial cartoon feature drawn by Sage Stossel and named (aptly enough) "Sage, Ink." Since then, Stossel's whimsical work has been featured by the New York Times Week in Review, CNN Headline News, Cartoon Arts International/The New York Times Syndicate, The Boston Globe, Nieman Reports, Editorial Humor, The Provincetown Banner (for which she received a 2009 New England Press Association Award), and elsewhere. Her work has also been included in Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year, (2005, 2006, 2009, and 2010 editions) and Attack of the Political Cartoonists. Her children's book, On the Loose in Boston, was published in June 2009.

Sage Stossel grew up in a suburb of Boston and attended Harvard University, where she majored in English and American Literature and Languages and did a weekly cartoon strip about college life, called "Jody," for the Harvard Crimson. From 2004 to 2007, she served as Books Editor of the Radcliffe Quarterly

After college she took what was intended to be a temporary summer position securing electronic rights to articles from The Atlantic's archive for use online. Intrigued by The Atlantic's rich history and the creative possibilities in helping to launch a digital edition of the magazine on the Web, she soon joined The Atlantic full time. As the site's former executive editor, she was involved in everything from contributing reviews, author interviews, and illustrations, to hosting message boards and producing a digital edition of The Atlantic for the Web.

Stossel lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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