Sideshow: 'SNL' takes a shot at itself

Kerry Washington with "Saturday Night Live" cast member Taran Killam.
Kerry Washington with "Saturday Night Live" cast member Taran Killam. (DANA EDELSON / NBC, File)
Posted: November 05, 2013

With Kerry Washington as guest host, Saturday Night Live wasted no time poking fun at itself after receiving criticism for having no black women among its 16 regular cast members.

In the opening skit, the Scandal actress portrayed first lady Michelle Obama - and then Oprah Winfrey, and was about to become Beyoncé when the show's executive producer, Lorne Michaels, stepped in to say producers wanted to apologize for the number of black women she would be asked to play.

"We make this request both because Ms. Washington is an actress of considerable range and talent, and also because Saturday Night Live does not currently have a black woman in the cast," he said. "We agree this is not an ideal situation and look forward to rectifying it in the future - unless, of course, we fall in love with another white guy first."

Ultimately, the Rev. Al Sharpton appeared to deliver the show's traditional opening line - "Live from New York, it's Saturday night" - which he prefaced by saying, "What have we learned from this sketch? As usual, nothing."

Beginning of the Ender

Ender's Game scored the No. 1 slot at the weekend box office, earning $28 million in its first weekend and sending Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa into second place . Ender's Game, based on the novel by Orson Scott Card, stars Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford as intergalactic soldiers. Paramount's candid-camera comedy starring Johnny Knoxville disguised as an old man brought in another $20.5 million in its second weekend, with a domestic total reaching more than $62 million.

CBS Films' Last Vegas, featuring an all-star cast of veterans including Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline, opened in third place, with $16.5 million. Relativity Media's animated Free Birds, voiced by Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, and Amy Poehler, debuted at fourth with $16.2 million.

After its fifth weekend at the box office, the Warner Bros. 3D stunner Gravity is holding in the fifth position. It banked $13.1 million over the weekend, bringing its domestic total to $220 million. Overseas, Disney's Thor: The Dark World, earned an impressive $109.4 million in its first international weekend. The Marvel superhero sequel opens domestically next weekend.

This column includes information from Inquirer wire services.

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