Saturday Night Live is the perfect end-of-the-week pick-me-up for anyone who’s had a tough couple of days. Whether work’s got you down, family issues won’t go away or you feel like the whole country’s on your case, tuning in to NBC on any given Saturday night is sure to provide you with a chuckle or two.
Unless, that is, you’re General David Petraeus.
Even if he’s a huge fan of host Jeremy Renner or last night's musical guest, the monochrome-outfitted Maroon 5, the disgraced former head of the Central Intelligence Agency would have been better off watching a news network, where they might take a moment to talk about anything other than him. If love hurts, consider last night’s episode of SNL a love letter to the adulterous General; a very funny love letter . . . one that should absolutely not be shown to his wife.
The cold open was a knockout sketch that took place at the famed Washington, DC bookstore, Politics and Prose, under the guise of a CSPAN book reading. The author, there to read excerpts from her latest book, was of course Petraeus’ biographer and girlfriend, Paula Broadwell (played straight by Cecily Strong). From All In, her detailed tome on Petraeus, Broadwell read salacious remembrances of her time with the General; Fifty Shades of Camouflage, if you will. The crowd at Politics and Prose got fidgety at the gross-out mention of Petraeus calling Broadwell "just the right amount of 'dirty.'" And most of the audience left when the subject of socialite Jill Kelley came up, under the auspices of a potential threesome. By the time Broadwell spoke of erotic asphyxiation, there was just one crowd member left, Fred Armisen. His eyes brightened, he smiled, and CSPAN cut the feed.
Another hilariously pointed sketch featured Jason Sudeikis as CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, on his program, The Situation Room. Blitzer took note of the incessant looping of the sole video clip networks had of Jill Kelley (Cecily Strong) walking out of her home and to her car. Out of her home and to her car. Again, out of her home and to her car. And then backwards, followed by the clip cut shorter, and most hilariously, as a dramatic recreation, using the very un-feminine Tim Robinson in place of Cecily Strong.
Seth Meyers jumped on top of the pile too, proclaiming winners and losers of the scandal during Weekend Update. Among the winners, General John Allen, who, while also ensnared in this horror, Meyers pointed out, does have the luxury of leaving the horror that is Afghanistan. The biggest loser? Florida. "Of course, you're involved, Florida! Of course you are. Anytime there's a news story about someone's sordid behavior or bad judgment, it's just a matter of time before your name comes up. Sex scandals are like Jewish New Yorkers. Eventually they all make their way to Florida."
While there was a focus on the former Army General, other highlights included a vacation commercial touting the allure of visiting "your home town," and a digital short called "The Stand Off," where Jeremy Renner, Taran Killam and Bobby Moynihan trained guns on each of the other two guys for two days, constantly: From a parking garage, inside a taxi, at Thanksgiving dinner, in the shower, and back to the garage.
And perhaps most importantly, SNL launched a nü-Saturday TV Funhouse segment, the animated "Midnight Snack," which featured what very well may have been the most genius bit not just of the episode, but of the season: Cool Drones. The Department of Defense, knowing that drones – the remote controlled bomb-equipped mini-planes – are unfavorable with a lot of the public, go about putting together a children’s cartoon to make them more tolerable. The result: drones as a boy band. When they’re not bombing the front lines, they’re teen heartthrobs with backward hats and styled facial hair, singing "Hanging out, having fun, we did our job, and now it's done."
Even General Petreaus would have cracked a smile at that.
Last Week's Recap: 'SNL' Parodies 'Homeland,' Mitt Romney's Post-Election Blues