Speed Reads

Late Night Antics

SNL tackles Vladimir Putin's Ukraine invasion, politically and personally

Saturday Night Live

Lena Dunham hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend, but in some ways the star of the show was Russian President Vladimir Putin. Obviously, Putin himself — busy as he is consolidating Russian control of Ukraine's Crimea province — didn't make an appearance. And nobody on the show did their best Putin impersonation. But the Russian leader was the focus of the cold open, when Liam Neeson helped Jay Pharoah's President Obama poke fun at the Republican criticism that Obama just isn't tough enough to go mano a mano against the Russian strongman:

"Weekend Update" also started out with the Crimea situation, with Cecily Strong landing a pretty good joke about Obama and the right side of history. Taran Killam's Matthew McConaughey is nonsensically delightful, but if you want just the Ukraine stuff, skip ahead to about the seven minute mark, when Vanessa Bayer and Fred Armisen talk about what it's like to be Vladimir Putin's best friends growing up. --Peter Weber