A fiscal cliff-themed cold open kicked off this week’s episode. The subject alone indicated it wasn’t the most exciting material we’ve seen, but Jay Pharaoh shined in his relatively new role as Barack Obama, and Bill Hader wowed as John Boehner. His emotional performance mainly consisted of just standing there, but something about the sullen, despondent expression on his face — punctuated by the occasional meek nod — was just hilarious.
Pharoah once again nailed the vocal nuance of the Commander in Chief as he shed light on a lesser-known fact from the ongoing fiscal cliff debate: Boehner gets bullied by his fellow Republicans. They’ve placed rubber snakes on his desk, pushed him into the Congressional ladies’ washroom (naked from the waist down) and even hazed him with a fake pizza party scenario. It was pity, Obama explained, that prompted him to finally give in and let the Republicans get what they wanted.