Lena Dunham bares all for 'SNL'

Lena Dunham on

Lena Dunham on "Saturday Night Live." (HO)

Marianne Dowling, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

GRADE: B+

Lena Dunham might be a powerful woman in the entertainment industry as the writer, producer and star of her own HBO show Girls, but for many people out there, she’s just the girl who gets naked a lot on TV. No use getting depressed over that last night, though – Saturday Night Live is a comedy show after all – so Dunham turned all that criticism around, made fun of herself and became a confident, empowered sketch comedy star – on International Women’s Day, no less.

Here are the highlights from Hannah and her SNL sisters:

COLD OPEN:

The real Liam Neeson, dressed in a bad-ass leather jacket, shows up in the Oval Office in full Taken furor to help Barack Obama (Jay Pharoah) talk some sense into Vladimir Putin over the Crimea invasion. Neeson speaks directly into the camera, makes some crack about how he’s offended that Crimea was “taken” (get it?!) and introduces a video featuring Obama in numerous Putin-intimidating, ultra-masculine scenes, like the POTUS sitting shirtless on a horse, wrestling a bear, and defeating an enemy with expert karate moves.

MONOLOGUE:

After Dunham complains about fans blabbing to her about their sex lives, she is immediately approached by Vanessa Bayer who tells her about her boyfriend’s genitals, followed by Aidy Bryant, who shares a story about how she lost her virginity on a merry-go-round, and finally, Bobby Moynihan flashes her in his bathrobe. This was one monologue that should have been trimmed down. When the jokes started to fall flat near the end, it sort of felt like watching open mic night at Yuk Yuk’s.

BEST SKETCH:

OOH CHILD

This pre-recorded short starts out sweet and funny and then takes an unexpectedly dark turn at the very end. It begins with what appears to be a Sunday drive with four friends in a car, taking turns singing The Five Stairsteps’ Ooh Child. Whenever it’s Duham’s turn to sing, she’s interrupted by the car’s GPS - which would be a good gag on its own – but then the car stops at the side of the road and a gagged-and-bound Brooks Wheelan pops up into view from the car’s floor. The last words we hear from the driver are “If a court won’t convict you, we will.”

RUNNER UP:

GIRL

Here’s where Dunham really takes it to her critics by playing the mother of original sin – Eve - in a mock trailer for the movie Girl. In this spoof, Dunham is completely naked (no strategically placed leaves here, but this is still network TV, so she’s blurred) and questioning her relationship with Adam, (Taran Killam as Adam Driver) in the style of Dunham’s Girls character Hannah Horvath.

WORST SKETCH:

WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING? YOU’RE BEING CRAZY!

Oh great, another unfunny talk show sketch. This one is hosted by teenage girls (Dunham, Nasim Pedrad) with raging hormones. They invite a boy from the school’s soccer team over to hold hands and ask him, “What are you even doing?” followed by saying “You’re being crazy!” What’s even less funny than this sketch is the fact SNL actually talked Mad Men’s Jon Hamm into wasting a guest appearance on it. Seriously, Jon Hamm. What ARE you even doing in this skit? You’re being crazy.

ROB FORD SHOUT-OUT:

Pharoah jabs Rob Ford while playing eccentric comedian Kat Williams on a made-up talk show called Pimpin’ Pimpin’ Pimpin.’ While interviewing Harrison Ford (Killam) he remarks the actor is “looking less like Harrison Ford and more like Rob Ford.” When the audience groans, Pharoah looks surprised before getting back into character to tell the audience to shut up.

MUSICAL GUEST:

The National’s Matt Berninger punctuated the band’s first song Graceless by thumping his microphone against his thigh a lot. Maybe the music moved him to do it – but it didn’t sound pretty, Matt. The second song, I Need My Girl, was a softer, slower track to end the night.


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