[Bruno Mars, doing double duty as host and musical guest, demonstrated impressive comedic talent and musical range, pulling off what may have been the strongest episode of the season so far. Tom Hanks also made a pair of cameos. Mars performed "Locked Out of Heaven" and "Young Wild Girls"]
Cold open—Presidential Debate #2 gets heated, with obstreperous poking by Mitt Romney (Jason Sudeikis), disorderly conduct by a fired-up Tagg (Taran Killam), a cameo by Tom Hanks, and a triumphant mic drop by President Obama (Jay Pharoah). New castmember Aidy Bryant gets some airtime as moderator Candy Crowley.
Brad Pitt (Taran Killam) hawks Chanel No. 5 in a parody commercial almost as weird as the real thing.
Digital short—Sad Mouse: A depressed Times Square mascot finds love.
Stefon (Bill Hader, laughing even more uncontrollably than usual) drops by Weekend Update to offer tips for a fun family Halloween in the city. ("This place has everything—ghosts, ghouls, goblins...my son...")
Under-underground Records hosts an election-themed blowout, with reenactments of the Lincoln-Douglas debates (by Linkin Park and Buster Douglas), binders full of women who are really men, and more...
Also: The Merryville robots are back, and are joined by Tom Hanks for a special Halloween-themed version of their disturbing amusement park ride; When the power fails at Pandora Internet Radio Headquarters, Devon the intern (Bruno Mars) steps in with impromptu covers of everyone from Green Day to Aerosmith, to Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, and Michael Jackson. (Video not currently online).
NEXT, on November 3: Louis C.K., with musical guest Fun.