“Saturday Night Live” opened this weekend’s show with a little Seattle Seahawks-themed Super Bowl humor.
The parody featured a talk show hosted by outspoken Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (Jay Pharoah) and running back Marshawn Lynch (Kenan Thompson). Head coach Pete Carroll, played by Taran Killam, even made an appearance.
The NBC sketch comedy series took aim at Lynch’s now infamous mandatory pre-Super Bowl media session on Wednesday, when the NFL star refused to answer questions and left his designated table after timing five minutes on his smartphone.
Lynch said little to nothing in the skit but repeated the phrase, “Thank you for asking me,” to the first few questions.
Like Lynch, Thomspon also avoided answering any questions. When asked, “How are you doing?” Thompson simply responded, “Thanks for asking me that.” He kept repeating that answer pretty much the entire time, essentially poking fun at Lynch’s “Y’all know why I’m here,” response on Wednesday.
Talk then turned to Sunday’s Super Bowl XLIX and Deflategate, which the men referred to as ‘Ballgazi aka the e-ball-a crisis.’
Sherman also did a little trash talking to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio about last week’s much-hyped blizzard and the decision to shut down the city’s subway system ahead of the snowstorm.
“You call that the biggest snow storm in the history of New York? I seen bigger blizzards at Dairy Queen!” shouted fake Sherman.
“Whiplash” star and Academy Award nominee, J.K. Simmons hosted the show. Simmons’s opening monologue went over well with the crowd.
Simmons is nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role as Terence Fletcher on “Whiplash.” He’s already received a Golden Globe and the Screen Actors Guild Award for the role, and is considered the front-runner for the Oscar.
Simmons insisted that, unlike his character in the movie, he’s actually “really nice in real life.” But, his treatment of the cast pointed to the contrary.
“This is not your weird little videos: This is the opening of the show!” Simmons yelled at “SNL’s” Kyle Mooney, who was playing the drums. “Get on my tempo!”
When he asked Mooney whether he was being cute, Mooney shot back, “I think my hair is cute,” to which Simmons responded, “All hair is ridiculous.” The self-deprecating moment from the bald first-time “SNL” host drew loud laughs from the audience.
Fred Armisen eventually appeared to play the drums, which, he did amazingly well.
We’ve seen better opening monologues but we’ve also seen worse. Considering the “Whiplash” gag had to appear at some point during the show, it’s good they got it out the way, even if it wasn’t exactly hysterical.
Simmons then took on Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca,” with Kate McKinnon as Ingrid Bergman. This sketch featured an alternative ending to the classic 1942 World War II drama. McKinnon’s Bergman is giggle-inducing from the first moment she’s sets foot on set. As soon as she realizes that a concentration camp is potentially in her future, all she wants to do is leave Bogie behind. The chemistry between Simmons and McKinnon is simply hysterical.
“Weekend Update” had a few laughs but one particularly good joke concerned the first ever anti-domestic violence Super Bowl commercial. “That’s smart,” said co-anchor Collin Jost, “show it the one time NFL players can’t watch it.”
Mike O’Brien made an appearance as the whitest Jay Z ever. He’s so white, he stops dealing cocaine so he can do “rapping.” Jason Sudeikis also pops by for a surprise appearance as Kanye West but by the time Simmons comes on as Nas, the segment has gone on a bit too long. Still, it’s always good to see O’Brien so we’ll take what we can get.
Musical guest D’Angelo turned in two strong musical numbers, including “Really Love.” His performance of “Charade” featured a chalk outline behind him on the floor and band members wearing “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts – a reference to the final words Eric Garner uttered before he died after a police chokehold — was also very compelling.