Michael Keaton has wrapped up his “SNL” hosting duties for the evening, an underwhelming episode that saw the recent Oscar nominee channeling several of his other former famous movie roles right up front.
The “Birdman” star also lent a helping hand and dancing feet to a humorous CNN takedown sketch, and was called on to gamely play along in a “Going Clear”-esque pre-taped skit, firing (razor) thinly veiled shots at Scientology.
After what must have been a rushed-together NCAA Final Four cold open (and it showed), “Saturday Night Live” stars Taran Killam and Bobby Moynihan crashed Keaton’s monologue to sing “Will You Play Batman With Us, Michael Keaton?” and “Will You Play Beetlejuice With Us, Michael Keaton?” The initial answer to both was a resounding “No.”
It took some convincing, a full choir of cast members, and Moynihan’s claim of having just six weeks to live, but the duo eventually coaxed a quick “I am Batman” and “It’s showtime!” out of the comeback movie star.
Following the monologue, Cecily Strong, Sasheer Zamata and others mocked CNN for its absurd reenactment graphics. The early spoof proved to be one of the stronger sketches on a fairly weak night.
On the faux newscast, Brooke Baldwin (Strong) led the mock cable coverage of everything from the recent Germanwings airplane crash to the ridiculousness being served up by Memories Pizza, the Indiana pizzeria that made headlines and sparked controversy when the owners said they would not cater same-sex weddings.
Later, the 40th “SNL” cast teamed up to mock Scientology, channeling the spirit of HBO’s recent hit documentary, “Going Clear: Scientology and The Prison of Belief.” That would be one of the last highlights of the show, though there was far more time to fill.
In other Hollywood crossover news, Norman Reedus stopped by “Weekend Update” in full “Walking Dead” character, firing an arrow through comedian Pete Davidson’s chest. The two then bailed on anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che to go smoke some weed. The drop-in joke didn’t quite work, though “SNL” could sure use a dash of “TWD’s” TV ratings this year.
Saturday’s episode marked Keaton’s third time hosting the long-running sketch comedy program. The aging actor, who last took the Studio 8H stage in 1982, will next star in the upcoming feature films “Spotlight” and “Minions.”
On a musical note, Carly Rae Jepsen made her “SNL” debut this weekend. Jepsen, who has sold more than 17 million singles worldwide of smash hit “Call Me Maybe,” dropped in to promote her new chart-climber, “I Really Like You.”
Next Saturday, “Empire” star Taraji P. Henson makes her debut as the temporary face of the Lorne Michaels show. Henson’s musical guest will be band Mumford & Sons, who takes its second turn playing a pair of songs on the NBC staple.
Broadway Video’s “Saturday Night Live” airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. on NBC.
Watch some of the choice videos from the latest “SNL”: