Jesse Eisenberg just scored an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Facebook wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg, and on “Saturday Night Live” he got the chance to share the screen with his real-life inspiration.
After Eisenberg prattled on about how confident he is in comparison to the characters he often plays, Andy Samberg crashed “The Social Network” star’s opening monologue as a bratty version of Zuckerberg. The two compared their Zuckerberg styles — Eisenberg speaks in short sentences, while Samberg just wears a sweatshirt and says “I’m Mark Zuckerberg” — while the real social media whiz chopped it up backstage with “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels. Eventually, the 26-year-old billionaire took the stage, and when it was revealed that Eisenberg and Zuckerberg have never met, Samberg quipped “Awkward!” and ran off. Zuckerberg then called the Oscar-nominated tale of the origins of Facebook “interesting,” and Eisenberg graciously let the Internet entrepreneur introduce the show.
Eisenberg assumed a number of alter egos on Saturday’s broadcast, like the horny adolescent who rubbed balloons on his partner’s private parts during a demonstration of static electricity on “Mr. Wizard’s World.” The “Network” actor also turned up as a hapless contestant on VH1’s “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” who blurts out whatever’s on his mind, like belting “one extra testicle” instead singing Robert Palmer’s “A Bad Case of Lovin’ You.”
The star also turned up in a sketch reminiscent of his “Network” performance, as a college student who gets roped into a television interview with a surly, geriatric reporter who easily loses his train of thought and continuously slams his mic into Eisenberg’s face.
Eisenberg also appeared as a castmember of MTV’s “Skins” who is reduced to hawking fried chicken and used cars by reciting clumsy product-placement lines, and paired with Samberg once again for an ad for “El Shrinko,” a product that reduces man bits to a size the ladies like — or so they say.
Eisenberg also joined forces with musical guest Nicki Minaj for the “Bride of Blackenstein” sketch. Minaj played a bootylicious but mouthy creation of a groovy evil genius while Eisenberg hobbled along as the hunchbacked flunky.
Minaj also rocked a digital short as a geeky voyeur with an affinity for eyeing folks during inappropriate times like, say, a funeral, and even showed viewers how to do the Peeping Tom-approved dance “The Creep.”
In addition to showing off her funny side, the Trinidadian-born MC also treated viewers to two theatrical stage performances. Minaj first played “Right Thru Me,” taking the stage in a voluminous mauve ball gown made of frilly tiers as pink-tinted fog enveloped the set. The star topped off the dress with a two-toned version of the Gumby-shaped wig that captivated fans when she recently hit London. Perhaps it was the gigantic gown, but Minaj stayed put for most of the song. However, she did keep the energy up by dipping in and out of her animated voices.
Minaj ditched the princess look for a funky colorful bodysuit for “Moment 4 Life.” She also swapped out her Gumby wig for the towering, streaky hairpiece from her “Bride of Blackenstein” sketch, and added thigh-high magenta boots. This time, Minaj took advantage of the stage, energetically strutting around. The MC crouched and gyrated throughout the set as she showed off her singing skills, and wrapped up the performance with a dramatic pose and sneer — the type of out-of-nowhere zaniness her fans have come to crave.
“I mean, to be raised in New York, and to always hear about ’SNL,’ ” Minaj told MTV News last week. “I never had the honor of getting a pinkie toe in the building, now [I’m] here and it feels incredible.”
What did you think of “SNL” this week? Let us know in the comments!