Oct. 21, 2012 at 12:40 PM ET
As if a nerded-out Bruno Mars singing Green Day wasn’t more than enough charm for one episode, "Saturday Night Live" nearly broke the bank when it enlisted Tom Hanks as an unannounced guest during this week’s episode.
Hanks made an appearance near the end of the cold open, which tackled the second presidential debate between President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney.
True to the real debate, the two men are combative and prone to interrupting each other. But things are amped up here.
Obama (Jay Pharoah) calls Romney (Jason Sudeikis) "Casper." Romney belittles Obama's presidential salary of $400,000, saying that's how much he pays his cats.
When Romney pushes Obama on cutting permits to drill on federal land, the president responds: “I’m about to cut you.” Romney then challenges the president to meet him outside after the debate, with “no secret service” allowed.
Romney also mocks Obama for drilling restrictions enacted to protect birds.
“I promise you, as your president I will never care how many birds are killed,” he says. “If it brought gas prices down one cent, I would personally stalk, capture and strangle each bird in this great land -- except for eagles.”
Hanks shows up as a questioner who, after much fumbling with his glasses and piece of paper, simply says “Libya." (See here for a more detailed description of Hanks on the show.)
The show is in reruns next week, which means the third and final presidential debate will be nearly two weeks old when "SNL" returns Nov. 3. Will this be the last debate sketch we’ll see until 2016?
Host and musical guest Mars continued the proud tradition of Justin Timberlake and Mick Jagger by pulling "SNL" double duty, though he admitted during his monologue he had no acting or comedy experience.
“I’ve never even done a shampoo commercial, which is crazy" (given his fabulous head of hair) he said. He asked the audience to be forgiving, and broke into a song that started off self-effacing, but grew into a confidant riff on how he was going to be an amazing host.
"But please be gentle,” he sang at the end, “because it’s my first time.”
Mars continued his hot streak in a sketch which took us inside the offices of the music streaming service Pandora and forced him to sing in the style of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong.
Yes, the results were hilarious.
Pandora runs into an emergency, with the vocal tracks for Green Day songs somehow being taken out of commission for a while. It’s up to the nerdy intern (Mars) to sing the tracks live so listeners calling up the Green Day channel will be able to enjoy the songs. He (sort of) gets Green Day right, and then must move on to Aerosmith, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry.
“Is there really no script, because I’ve been talking to myself for two hours straight. I’m starting to sound insane,” Pitt says in one ad, after speaking nonsense for a while.
In another, Pitt praises Taco Bell, and later promotes dog condoms for people who don’t want to neuter their pooches.
"SNL" is next new Nov. 3 with Louis C.K. as host and musical guest fun.