If you don’t watch the Showtime series, then Saturday night’s “Homeland” sketch on “Saturday Night Live” probably went over your head. However, “Homeland” doesn’t seem to be leaving the “SNL” landscape anytime soon: It’s the second time in as many weeks that the show was referenced, as Fred Armisen as Michael Bloomberg intoned, in last week’s cold open, “White people love ‘Homeland.’” So, whether you’re white or not, it’s probably in your best interest to start watching “Homeland” now, just for the sake of getting the “SNL” jokes (if not for the fact that it’s a terrific show.)
The star of Saturday night’s sketch was Anne Hathaway’s over-the-top yet apt impression of Claire Danes as unhinged, manic CIAofficer Carrie Matheson, who begs for the chance to interrogate a witness. Hathaway’s lips trembled, her voice shook and her eyes popped as she chased pills with white wine, worked on her beloved cork board and pined for Taran Killam’s Nick Brody, as he adopted Damian Lewis’ low voice but more importantly, his tiny mouth. Bill Hader’s impression of Mandy Patinkinas Saul Berenson wasn’t played so much for laughs but was spot-on with the character’s understated growl, as he said, “[Carrie’s] only let me down every time I trusted her.” Meanwhile, Nasim Pedrad played Dana, Brody’s daughter, all confused looks and long hair and even longer sleeves.
The episode felt surprisingly light on post-election material, aside from a somewhat quiet (perhaps even affectionate) cold open about Mitt Romney handling his election defeat by going on a milk bender, being comforted by his sons (all played by Taran Kilam) and going nuts by kissing his wife on the mouth.
Jay Pharoah also appeared as President Obama during Weekend Update to conclude, “This is a terrible job and I hate it.” Update was opened by Seth Meyerschanting “Four more years!” and as the audience began to applaud, he concluded “….of gridlock!” This may indicate that the “SNL” writing staff, like the rest of the nation, may be ready to take a break from politics for a while.
Next week, Jeremy Renner hosts (with musical guest Maroon 5), so perhaps we’ll see a “Homeland”/“Hurt Locker” crossover sketch.