The Oscar-winning actor hosted the program at a time when he is starring in two new movies: the just-released "Tron: Legacy" and the upcoming "True Grit." Given the dramatic nature of those two movies, the SNL appearance was an opportunity for Bridges to show his comic side.
He did so with help from Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster during the monologue. Playing acoustic guitar, Bridges sang “Silver Bells” with Cookie, who joked he wanted to have an iPad for Christmas. At the end, the actor rewarded the Muppet icon with what else—a cookie.
Bridges portrayed fellow actor Nick Nolte as a guest on "The Miley Cyrus Show". He was inundated with a barrage of questions from the overenthusiastic teen star -- among them was, “Are you a 100 years old?” Cyrus (Vanessa Bayer) had also addressed the recent alleged drug controversy and added this important warning: “Don’t let your friend videotape you when you’re doing stuff."
Other roles that Bridges took on included playing an emotional Duane "Dog" Chapman of Dog the Bounty Hunter, who was one of the guests of Larry King’s last-ever final program with Jermaine Jackson and the Judds. He also played a rabbi in the long-lost Hanukkah version of “It’s A Wonderful Life” called “This You Call a Wonderful Life?” And in a sketch that takes place in the Old West, the actor played a Christmas gift wrapper inside a general store. (Apparently, gift wrapping was a radical concept back in the those days).
Bridges also served as the host of his own new celebrity prank show, "Jeff’d" (as in “You’ve been Jeff’d!”), playing harmless, if not lame, practical jokes on Hollywood friends such as Sam Elliott, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Forest Whitaker.
The "SNL Digital Short "involved Andy Samberg, the Lonely Planet guys and Akon singing the declaratory “I Just Had Sex.” Celebs Blake Lively, Jessica Alba and John McEnroe make cameo appearance in the short.
Other highlights from the program included the newly-released WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Bill Hader) talking about Mark Zuckerberg being named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year and a holiday message from the Kardashian sisters. On Weekend Update, anchorman Seth Meyers’ guest was Republican National Chairman Michael Steele (Kenan Thompson), who said he was always a Tea Party-goer.. The newscast concluded with a holiday song from Stefon, Snooki (Bobby Moynihan) and Gov. David Paterson (Fred Armisen) who offered, “Happy holidays to everyone…except New Jersey."
The musical guests were Eminem and Lil Wayne who both delivered a stunning performance of "No Love"; the two also performed separately later in the show.
The next new broadcast of "SNL" will take place Jan. 8 with host Jim Carrey and musical guest the Black Keys.
Sources: Saturday Night Live broadcast, Dec. 18, 2010; Hulu