It was inevitable that this week's "Saturday Night Live" cold open would have to deal with Charlie Sheen, but with the rest of the world having had all week to take shots at him, making theirs different was not an easy task. But thanks to some solid performances, they pulled it off.
Bill Hader's impersonation of Mr. Tigerblood himself, though not quite as creepily dead on as Jimmy Fallon's, had a note of humanity in it just below the hyperbolic bravado that almost made you feel something for Sheen. When he tries to pump up and praise guests like Muammar Gaddafi, you know that however misguided he is, he actually thinks he's doing something good for someone who is simply misunderstood, just like him. It's that sort of depth and nuance in Hader's performance that elevated the sketch safely from the realm of, "Oh god, not another Charlie Sheen impression..."
The sketch smartly used Sheen as a launching point to address all the notable loose cannons of the last few weeks: the aforementioned Gaddafi, John Galliano, Lindsay Lohan and Christina Aguilera.
Probably the best exchange of the entire sketch, was between Sheen and Gaddafi (Fred Armisen):
Sheen: You're so bitchin', so gnarly, I bet you're just killing it right now.
Gaddafi: Well, if by 'it' you mean my people, then yes, I'm very much killing it.
Sheen: Don't get down on yourself. You've been a star dictator on a hit country for 42 seasons. Without you, nobody even talks about Libya. Who are they gonna replace you with? An elective democracy? John Stamos? Come on.
The idea of Charlie Sheen seeing the rest of the world through Hollywood-tinted glasses makes this one of the more pointed critiques of the star's misguided self-enthusiasm. At the same time, it also casts a light on our national obsession with him in the face far more significant world affairs.
Perhaps now that "SNL" has had their crack at Charlie Sheen, we can all move on? Let's hope so, for all our sakes.
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