A pair of shamed sports stars were the target of weekend humor during the cold open of Saturday Night Live. A Piers Morgan show sketch focused on Lance Armstrong, who admitted earlier in the week to using performance-enhancing drugs, and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, who claims he was fooled into an online relationship with a woman who later died.
Jason Sudeikis, who played Armstrong, offered a joking interview modeled after the cyclist’s real-life sitting with Oprah Winfrey on Thursday and Friday. A report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency recently revealed that Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France champion and cancer survivor, organized a complex doping scheme for himself and his U.S. Postal Service cycling team.
“It wasn’t really all that sophisticated,” the fake Armstrong said on SNL. “All I actually did was steroids, testosterone, human growth hormone, EPO and I replaced all of my blood with better blood. Is that sophisticated? I don’t know. Is it cheating? Maybe. I am sorry I did it? Yes-ish. P.S., no.”
Te’o was a Heisman trophy candidate during the college football season, motivated by the death of his grandmother and the loss of his girlfriend to leukemia in September. But shortly before suffering a crushing defeat to Alabama in the BCS championship game, Te’o found out that “Lennay Kekua,” the girl he was in an online relationship with, was in fact not dead, nor even a real person. Though Te’o has publicly expressed his disappointment with having been fooled for so long, SNL chose to make light of the situation.
“The sad fact is I was the victim of a cruel and senseless hoax,” Te’o (Bobby Moynihan) said during the sketch.
“That must be devastating to deal with,” the faux Morgan replied.
“It is,” Te’o answered. “But it’s even more devastating for my girlfriend, Lennay.”
The show, which was hosted by Silver Linings Playbook and Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence, took another shot at the two athletes during the weekend update segment, when anchor Seth Meyers said, “This week, Lance Armstrong disappointed the last guy on Earth who still believed him,” with a picture of Te’o flashing past the screen.