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