[True to form, Steve Buscemi impersonated an assortment of oddballs and freaks in what shaped up to be a strong episode. Kenan Thompson's campaign-suspending Herman Cain couldn't quite top the real thing. Maya Rudolph made a cameo as Whitney Houston, and the Black Keys performed "Lonely Boy" and "Gold on the Ceiling."]
The monologue—Actors trapped in character parts pester Buscemi for tips on breaking into starring roles. (Featuring Bill Hader as Tex, the guy in war movies you know is going to die; Jay Pharoah as the sassy female judge; Kristin Wiig as the horror movie girl who can't find her friends; and Kenan Thompson as the magical African-American character who advises pretty white guys then disappears):
Cold open—President Obama (Fred Armisen) explains who really holds the power in this country. (The presidency ranks just below Verizon customer service...):
Mustachioed, argyle sweater-wearing Ed (Paul Brittain) invites couples to his educational "sex symposium" at the Raymondville State Park Econolodge. (Featuring Steve Buscemi as The Erotic Chef):
In a post-Penn State/Syracuse coaching-scandal world, no one can quite believe coach Bert (Steve Buscemi) isn't up to something weird:
Also: Odd bird Steve Buscemi and his spacy consort, Kristin Wiig, decorate for Christmas; Bill Hader returns as Keith Morrison, the morbid Dateline correspondent; and slurred, non sequitur-spewing "Drunk Uncle" (Bobby Moynihan) drops by Weekend Update with advice on dealing with family over the holidays.
NEXT WEEK: Katy Perry, with musical guest Robyn.