April 15, 2012 at 11:09 AM ET
"Saturday Night Live" took jabs at Piers Morgan, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and “Game of Thrones" Saturday night, but it was cast member Jay Pharaoh rather than host Josh Brolin who earned the most buzz.
In a controversial skit, cast member Taran Killam reprised his role as news commentator Morgan, and discussed the controversial Trayvon Martin case with a slew of famous figures, including Ozzie Guillen (played by Brolin), West (played by Pharoah), and Kim Kardashian, played by Nasim Pedrad.
“I feel for (Martin),” West said. “Maybe it’s just the black man in me.”
Replied Kardashian, “I also know what it feels like to have a black man in me.”
The sketch had viewers torn. Many posted angry remarks saying tackling the Martin case crossed the line. Others enjoyed the spoof of West and Kardashian, as well as the take on over-sensationalized media.
And a certain talk-show host himself now wants to get in the game.
Tweeted the real-life Piers Morgan, “I think it's time I hosted #SNL -- they're using me every week for ratings anyway. May as well get paid for it... Lorne?”
Pharoah started to earn raves beginning with host Brolin's opening monologue, when he joined the actor for a spoof of Brolin's upcoming film, "Men in Black 3," with Pharoah playing Will Smith to Brolin's Tommy Lee Jones. For Pharoah, who hasn’t played as prominent a role in past episodes, it may have been a career-defining moment.
Wrote viewer Evan Pellegrino on Twitter,“Jay Pharoah's first break on #SNL. You're officially a cast member buddy.”
Terry Lusk added, “Jay Pharoah gettin' a lotta love tonight. Brolin merely average. #snl.”
In one of the night's most-buzzed-about skits, “Booker T. Washington Prom,” Pharoah played a principal who interrupts a dance to reprimand students for spiking the punch and bringing an iguana as a date.
Brolin, acting as a drunken teacher, had the line of the night. “Let's have a “Hunger Games”-themed prom with no food, and lots of weapons.”
Additional highlights from the show included Steven Spielberg’s appearance in a digital short pitch for “Laser Cats 7;” a spoof of sex scenes in the HBO series, “Game of Thrones;” and a parody of high school parodies, where everyone got their moment to stroll in the hall of slow motion.
Musical guest Gotye’s performance divided some viewers. The emerging Australian act had some singing praises, and others wondering whether they’d missed something.
Tweeted New York Times cultural reporter, Dave Itzkoff, “Gotye, I didn't getye. #SNL.”
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