After hitting Mitt Romney during last week’s primetime special, Saturday Night Live turned to President Obama during Thursday’s cold open.
Jay Pharoah appeared as Obama at an Ohio rally, where he was attempting to make the case that people in the crowd were better off today than they were four years ago.
Obama asked for a show of hands who was employed. The few who did weren’t exactly paragons of American prosperity. One man (Fred Armisen) was a Burger King manager, a job that sounded good to Obama until the man said he’d been a Bank of America executive four years ago. Another man's (Kenan Thompson) vocation was chasing racoons out of foreclosed homes.
“It’s great because a lot of those homes had people in them four years ago,” the man said.
Obama admitted that things had been tough, even for him.
“I took office as a 47-year-old man. Four years later, I’m 75,” Obama said of the toll the office had on him. "I went from hip-hop star to jazz musician. From Babyface to B.B. King I guess black do crack.”
SNL also tackled the NFL referee lockout with The Replacement Refs. Having already botched Monday Night Football, the refs moved on to an even higher stakes game, sitting on the jury of a murder trial. Though the unabomber look-alike of a defendant admitted to killing people and raved he would do it again, the ineffectual refs made a ruling most people would disagree with.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Armisen), in town for the U.N. General Assembly, stopped by Weekend Update with his translator (Nasim Pedrad, who in real life was born in Iran). She soon became tired of translating for the egocentric president, and spoke off the cuff.
“He just moved our entire nuclear facility under a mountain,” the translator said. “That’s literally what Dr. Evil did in Austin Powers.”
But then she moved on to speak on behalf of Iran (60 percent of whom are under 30), asking America to give them a chance, and to curb its vitriol against the country.
“We don’t want nuclear weapons. We want a middle class and Facebook. We would abandon the nuclear program tomorrow if we could watch just 10 minutues of Modern Family,” she said. “So please, give our people a chance."
The episode wrapped SNL’s run of primetime specials for the election season. The NBC show returns with a new episode Oct. 6 with host Daniel Craig and musical guest Muse.