March 9, 2014 at 9:32 AM ET
Self-declared "obsessed" "Saturday Night Live" fan Lena Dunham stripped bare and gave it her all on Saturday's show — and that's both literal and figurative. Because Dunham, who regularly goes around in the buff on her HBO series "Girls," was definitely not getting out her late night hosting stint fully clothed.
Of course, it was all tastefully done. This is still broadcast TV. During the show, Dunham appeared in the faux movie teaser for "Girl," a movie in the "Noah" and "Son of God" tradition that retells the Adam and Eve story ... with a very postmodern twist.
"Are we, like, man and wife?" she asked her "Girls" co-star Adam Driver (played by "SNL's" Taran Killam), and got some very bad advice from fellow co-star Zosia Mamet (Vanessa Bayer) about whether to eat the apple. "Shoshanna's" head (complete with giant side head bun, superimposed onto an undulating snake's body, was one of the more disturbing late night images in the last few years.
But of course Dunham/Eve does eat the apple, after which she is irritated at God's wrath. "Can you please not apple shame me right now?" she asks, surrounded by partially-eaten fruit. "Seriously, I know I committed original sin, but at least it's original."
Dunham also appeared as the newest recruit to the team in a mock-"Scandal" episode, in which Sasheer Zamata played Kerry Washington's Olivia Pope character. In the sketch, Pope has a lot of impossible tasks for her team to take on, and everyone accepts their assignments without a blink. Except for Dunham (in long flowing blond locks), who wanted to know exactly how they're supposed to do them. Does she buy her own plane ticket on JetBlue? Should she bring a bathing suit in case the hotel has a pool?
She was completely composed for her monologue, discussing the old trick of imagining the audience naked if you're nervous before giving a speech publicly; in her case, there was a twist: "Or, at least imagine they haven't seen you naked." But she didn't get much of a chance to talk — because cast members decided they needed to come on stage and share their sex lives, à la some of the chats on "Girls."
But the show wasn't all about Dunham.
It took a pointed dive into politics with its cold open, where Liam Neeson made a cameo appearance with President Barack Obama (Jay Pharoah) to condemn Russia's President Vladimir Putin for putting troops into Crimea.
"Mr. Putin. Vladimir. I've never met you. I don't have experience in international diplomacy," said Neeson, channeling his character from "Taken." "But what I do have is a very particular set of skills. Skills that would make me a nightmare for someone like you. By which I mean I'm an actor. In Hollywood. With a lot of connections."
"SNL," which airs at 11:30 p.m. on NBC, will return with fresh episodes on March 29 with host Louis C.K.