NEW YORK – With Kerry Washington as guest host, “Saturday Night Live” wasted no time poking fun at itself after receiving criticism for having no black women among its 16 regular cast members.
In the opening skit, the “Scandal” actress portrayed First Lady Michelle Obama, talking with her husband about an upcoming state dinner at the White House.
“Michelle, this is such a treat,” said the president, impersonated by Jay Pharoah. “I feel like it’s been years since I’ve seen you.” An aide came in, saying Oprah Winfrey had arrived for the dinner and wanted to see the president. “Don’t you think you should get changed?” he asked Washington. She wondered whether cast member Kenan Thompson couldn’t play Winfrey; both Thompson and Pharoah have said recently they will no longer impersonate women on the NBC late-night comedy institution.
Washington left the stage and returned as Winfrey. She was then asked to portray Beyoncé — before the show’s executive producer, Lorne Michaels, stepped in. Michaels said producers would like to apologize to Washington for the number of black women she would be asked to play in the show.
The show has had four black women among its regular cast since coming on the air in 1975. Maya Rudolph, who is biracial, left in 2007.
Ohio woman tells Dr. Phil harrowing tale
One of three women who escaped from a ramshackle Cleveland home after more than a decade in captivity is about to share her story. Michelle Knight will appear on the “Dr. Phil” show Tuesday and Wednesday in a taped interview. The show says Knight “describes the horrible conditions in the house” and discusses her physical, mental and sexual abuse. That includes “being tied up like a fish” and spending weeks chained and tortured in the basement, according to the show. Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus escaped May 6 when Berry pushed out a door and yelled for help. Their kidnapper, Ariel Castro, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. He hanged himself Sept. 3. On “Dr. Phil,” Knight will also discuss how she was able to survive her ordeal. She was 20 when she was kidnapped in August 2002.
‘N Sync ‘n married: Chris Kirkpatrick, 42, the former ‘N Sync boy bander, has tied the knot with his girlfriend, Karly Skladany, 29, Us Weekly magazine confirms. The couple said “I do” Saturday in Orlando, Fla., with the singer’s former ‘N Sync bandmates serving as groomsmen and ushers for the ceremony. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel attended.