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Saturday Night Live Recap: Jesse Eisenberg Meets Mark Zuckerberg, Fred Armisen Does His Hosni Mubarak

Jesse Eisenberg brought his comedic chops to Saturday Night Live last night. Overall, he was one of the more subtly funny hosts this season, making us laugh without any over-the-top physical comedy. A common thread of nerdy goofiness ran through the episode. Nerd king Mark Zuckerberg was onstage, Jesse Eisenberg did not fail to adequately mock himself, and Nick Minaj wore a "Bride of Frankenstein" wig. Early reactions were (unsurprisingly) mixed. HitFix snarked: "You’re never gonna believe this, but Jesse Eisenberg is mocking his own awkwardness. The monologue isn’t so much about introducing Eisenberg to the audience so much as an extended PR move for Zuckerberg, who flubbed his backstage stuff with Lorne Michaels but actually came across decently well once onstage." Entertainment Weekly deduced: "Overall, definitely an above-average week. The best moments made a strong argument for the show to cast aside its recurring characters more often, and go with new, untested material." Jezebel felt the episode was heavy on "fifth grade toilet humor." In any case, onto the highlights:

Most Unambiguously Awkward Duo

Jesse Eisenberg managed to be many things at once: First, refreshingly self-deprecating, mocking his own shyness and humility. Then almost uncomfortably self-deprecating. Sure, he's awkward, but we don't need him to mock himself that hard. But ultimately he was just funny, and that's what he was really there be in the first place. Andy Samberg was also refreshingly self-deprecating: "I just put on a hoodie and say, 'I'm Mark Zuckerberg,'" he explained, of his Zuckerberg impression. And that's true. In fact, we're starting to realize Andy Samberg does almost exactly the same voice for nearly every person and thing he impersonates. (It usually works, though.)

Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, is not a professional actor or comedian ... to put it gently. Kudos to him for agreeing to show up and have fun with the skit, but hearing him forced to say, "I invented poking" was, well, you can see for yourself. Watching Zuckerberg and Eisenberg then mock their own awkwardness onstage could have been painful, but it was more funny than uncomfortable. ("I loved you on Sixty Minutes!") We're not sure if this sketch ultimately proved that Mark Zuckerberg has a sense of humor about himself, but watching Zuckerberg and Eisenberg almost hug before the commercial break was cute.

So There Was This

Funniest Take on a Serious Event

That goes to the man blaming the Egyptian revolution on Time Warner. (Overall, this week's "Weekend Update" was really funny: Meyers' joke about the NBC merger was pretty great - "Seriously, I have to say that" - as was Kenan Thompson's Tyler Perry. Plus, Meyers appears to be turning his smirk into something of an extended faux-serious stare at the audience. A marked improvement!)

In Which Nicki Reaffirms Her Acting Chops

In Which Nicki Performs in an Awesomely Bizarre Outfit

Photo: NBC