SNL #34.12 with Neil Patrick Harris, Taylor Swift, and Liza

Nothing like a holiday break to get everyone back on the same page and ready with some funny sketches to open 2009's Saturday Night Live. Right? For the most part: Yes. What better way to start a new year, then, than by letting the new young kid in the cast, Abby Elliott, open the proceedings with a portrayal of MSNBC's fresh, new thing, Rachel Maddow. Although the sketch really isn't poking fun at Maddow so much as it's aiming squarely at the Blago scandal and his would-be, could-he-be U.S. Sen. Harold Burris (Kenan Thompson), with Blago (Jason Sudeikis) sporting even sillier hair than he had in his previous appearance. (Note to readers: If you cannot see the videos on Hulu, try going to NBC's SNL page.) Your host this evening, Neil Patrick Harris, has proven himself quite the comic actor in recent years with his turns in Harold & Kumar and How I Met Your Mother. His monologue begins with a nice nod to his Doogie Howser child-actor years, revealing he almost hosted SNL in 1990 but got passed over for fellow child actor Fred Savage. But then his monologue gets hijacked by cast members making How I Met Your Mother jokes, which then itself gets hijacked by Andy Samberg's Mark Wahlberg impersonation…so he can say "Say hi to How I Met Your Mother for me?" OK. Trying too...

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