Punchlines ripped from the headlines

SNL: Shutdown Fails "Gravity" Astronauts

"Well, this is awkward. But the government has shut down."

By Patrick Hickey Jr.
|  Monday, Oct 14, 2013  |  Updated 11:32 AM EDT
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The only essential personnel left in Houston were janitors.

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As the government shutdown enters its third week, "Saturday Night Live" joked federal furloughs would have left the "Gravity" astronauts reliant on janitors in Houston to keep them alive.

With just four percent oxygen remaining after becoming detached from the Hubble telescope, two astronauts (Taran Killam and Cecily Strong spoofing George Clooney and Sandra Bullock) were all out of options. They radioed for help and managed to reach NASA custodian, Carl (Kenan Thompson).

"Well, this is awkward. But the government has shut down," Carl said. "It turns out I'm the only essential employee in the place. But I could have told you that months ago."

Another worker (Kate McKinnon) said she could get her son, who watches "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and "Battlestar Galactica," to help, but only if they could get him a job.

"He needs money so he can move back to Ukraine -- where the government is more stable," she said.

This week's "Weekend Update" with Seth Meyers and Cecily Strong continued the barrage on the GOP and Democrats for failing to stop the government shutdown, comparing them to the 0-6 New York Giants.

Things didn't get better for federal lawmakers when Senate Chaplain Barry Black (Kenan Thompson) joined the segment. The real-life Black has garnered headlines for telling lawmakers to "end the madness" over the shutdown and “deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable.”

After several prayer sessions, where he called the Senate "blabbering knuckleheads" and hoped they'd get stuck in a bathroom stall with no toilet paper, "SNL's" Black came up with a solution.

"Lord, send a flood to Washington," he said. "And just drown everybody. Or at least allow your cleansing waters to carry them far, far away."

Bruce Willis, making his first appearance on the show as host in 24 years, played harmonica in his monologue and in a later skit, a disgruntled Navy Seal who wants a bigger role in an al-Qaida raid.

Musical guest Katy Perry, who was 5-years-old the last time Willis hosted, performed "Roar" and "Walking on Air."

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