[Nineteen years after first hosting SNL (and playing a sullen teenager in the classic Chris Farley "van down by the river" motivational speaker sketch), Christina Applegate (once again starring in a sitcom about being married with children) presided over a strong episode, and (especially in two of the night's sketches: The Californians and a Bob Fosse dance instruction sketch) demonstrated an uncanny ability to channel Kristin Wiig. Musical guest Passion Pit performed "Take a Walk" and "Carried Away."]
Cold open—The Vice Presidential Debate: Joe Biden (Jason Sudeikis) enthusiastically sighs, groans, and makes monkey noises, while Paul Ryan (Taran Killam) guzzles from a hamster water bottle, boasts of his success in the Olympics, and frightens children with his penetrating gaze. Kate McKinnon plays Martha Raddatz, and Usain Bolt makes a cameo as himself.
For a look at the making of SNL's debate sketches see "Spinning Gaffes into Gags" (Bill Carter, The New York Times, October 7, 2012)
Tech Talk—Tech commentators critical of the iPhone 5's glitches come face to face with peasant laborers from the iPhone factory in China. ("Oh, Apple Maps doesn't work for you? You want Starbucks and it takes you to Dunkin' Donuts? That must be so hard for you! We're lucky... we don't need maps; we sleep where we work. But thank you for pointing that out...")
Arianna Huffington (Nasim Pedrad) drops by Weekend Update to comment on the Vice Presidential debate. ("Why bother asking men about abortion? If men could get pregnant, abortion clinics would be like Starbucks: there would be two on every block—four in every airport. And the morning-after pill would come in sea salt and cool ranch...")
Principal Frye (Jay Pharoah) is stressed out as ever (and struggling to keep a straight face) as Booker T. Washington High School's "Hell-oween" ball gets underway.
If you liked Taken and Taken 2, you'll love Give Us All Our Daughters Back, starring Liam Neeson (Taran Killam), Denzel Washington (Jay Pharoah), Uma Thurman (Christina Applegate), Harrison Ford (Fred Armisen), Steven Seagal (Bobby Moynihan), and Mel Gibson (Jason Sudeikis).
Also: Odysseus (Jason Sudeikis) struggles to resist the enchantment of the fabled Sirens (Christina Applegate, Cecily Strong, and Kate McKinnon), who are partial to Lisa Loeb, Shania Twain, and the Dawson's Creek theme song. (Video not currently online).
NEXT, on October 20: Bruno Mars (as both host and musical guest).