Spring break ended for "Saturday Night Live" this week by having President Obama make out with Justin Bieber to pitch healthcare.gov.
A desperate-to-get-people-to-sign-up-for-coverage-on-healthcare.gov Obama [Jay Pharoah] got a crash course in trending thanks to his new social media guru during the show's cold opening.
Obama made a pitch for healthcare.gov wearing Pharrell's Arby's hat [which was bought by Arby's at auction] and smoking a vapor cigarette on Instagram. But that was just the start. He went after Ellen's selfie record with Kim Kardashian, Batkid holding a cat, and the always fun fake Harry Styles.
The Commander in Chief was eventually joined by Pope Francis for a Vine. A 10-year-old girl in St. Louis with no health insurance but with a heart of gold, a real heart made of gold, even provoked the president to lock lips with Bieber [Kate McKinnon].
Anything for Obamacare.
Host Louis C.K. opened with eight minutes of his best vintage suitable-for-broadcast-television material. Among the topics he tackled: the existence of God, the place of men and women in society, children's plays, and the over-use of the word "hunger."
Did anyone else think George Carlin about mid-way through his routine? [Carlin, BTW, hosted the show's premiere in 1975.]
For anyone familiar with the genius of the show Louie, watching Louis CK on SNL is a lot like watching an NBA player dunk on third-graders.— Jamie Woodham (@jwoodham) March 30, 2014
While he's "never been murdered," C.K. said he doesn't expect to go to heaven when he dies. As far as God goes: "If there is a God, I'm not sure it's the one in the Bible. Our Father who art in heaven?" he said. "Whatever happened to our Mother? There might be a dead body under God's porch."
C.K. explained that women were originally in charge of the human race. "I don't think women are better than men but I think men are worse than women . . . Millions of years ago, women were in charge and they were mean . . . then one guy punched his mom and we realized we could hit them . . . Women got the right to vote in this country in 1920. That means American democracy is 94 years old. There are three guys in my building who are older than American democracy."
C.K. explained the difference between "first-world" hunger and "third-world" hunger. "If you've eaten today, you're not hungry. I'm hungry for a donut but I'm not hungry. And saying 'I'm starving' doesn't mean much unless you're actually starving."
He spoke for many when he said: "There is no more joyful experience in a parent's life than when a child's play is over," he said. "They worked really hard but that didn't make it good."
About an hour of C.K., with a few filmed spots and "Weekend Update," would have pleased most of the SNL audience.
One filmed commercial outlined about 101 uses around the house for all those cheap suits you can buy at Joseph A. Bank - including cleaning up any mess imaginable, diapers, and fireplace kindling.
The other notable filmed spot harkened back to the "Cagney and Lacy" days. It advertised a CBS cop show on "Detective TV" called "Dyke and Fats," starring "Dutch Plains as Officer Les Dykawitz" [Kate McKinnon] and "Velvy O'Malley as Officer Chubbina Fatzarelli" [Aidy Bryant].
"They're kicking crime to the curb. And doing it darned well."
The best live sketch of the evening was "Black Jeopardy."
It included C.K. as one of the contestants, an African-American studies teacher at BYU. Needless to say, he stumbled on his responses. In the category "Had that been me" the answer was: "Had that been me I would not have been around those dogs in the first place?" His response: "Mike Vick" but the winner was "Sarah McLachlan." The category "White People" offered: "White People are always lying about this." C.K.'s response was "money" but the host, Alex Treblack [Keenan Thompson], added any thing would have been acceptable.
Sam Smith performed "Stay With Me" and "Lay Me Down" in stunning voice and probably had a few thousand iTunes downloads when each song was finished.
His musical performances were nearly overshadowed by a chorus of "Mr. Big Stuff" featuring C.K. deadpanning his was through a musical number featuring four of the show's female cast members [McKinnon, Bryant, Cecily Strong, and Sasheer Zamata].
"I'm a 46-year-old divorced bald man. When those Prilosec commercials come on, I'm like 'I want to hear this.' ... I am Mr. Medium Stuff at best."
Colin Jost and Cecily Strong continued to develop their rapport on the "Weekend Update" desk. They proved SNL was very much indeed live as Jost reported that Florida and Wisconsin reached the Final Four earlier Saturday night. Stephen A. Smith [Pharaoh] paid a visit to the "Weekend Update" desk. Jost asked him to break down Sunday's other two NCAA regional final games, including the showdown between No. 4 Michigan State and No. 7 UConn at Madison Square Garden in New York.
"Tom Izzo and his Michigan State team will not make it out of the first round," Smith proclaimed. Turns out Smith is "dear, dear friends" with Izzo, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Kentucky freshman phenom and likely NBA first-round pick Julius Randle. "I was the nurse in the delivery room when Julius Randle was born. I breast-fed him so that his single mother could work two jobs ... But Julius Randle and the Kentucky Wildcats have [as much] chance of winning this tournament as I do winning a gold medal in women's figure skating."
Smith stood by his pick of Wichita State to win the NCAA title, even though the Shockers were knocked out by Kentucky last Sunday in the Midwest quarterfinals. "I have a feeling Wichita State will come back to win the entire NCAA tournament and the NBA championship."
The post "Weekend Update" like sketches labored, including one where C.K. and Vanessa Bayer, always a favorite with us, tried to mix work with some fun in the bedroom and another featuring Darth Vader and bowel exams.
He closed the show with some more of his completely irreverent irreverence by delivering a rambling list of reasons, straight off a cue card, why he should get back with his estranged girlfriend [Bryant]. "If you hear nothing else, at least hear this. Baby Jessica is still in that well and we're the only ones who can stop her. Every minute she's in there she's getting more and more pissed off ... I want you to be the last person I see when I slip into a coma and the first person I see when I get to hell . . . At the end of the day, I'm just a boy looking for a girl and $15,000."
[Anna Kendrick hosts SNL next week with Pharrell [Williams] as musical guest. Speaking of next week, with the April 5 show, our weekly SNL recaps will be moving to BDC's Entertainment page. The duties of being your SNL correspondent will be handed over to Bill Speros. No matter what you've read about him, I think he's a hack.]
The OBF Blog is written by award-winning journalist and Bay State native Bill Speros. Got a news tip, want to let him know directly what you think, have a complaint or compliment about his "aggressively relevant" content or hate people who speak about themselves in the third person, hit him up on his Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or e-mail him at email@example.com. Thanks always for reading and pass the clicker.