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Steven Spielberg presents his 'Laser Cats' on 'Saturday Night Live'

April 16, 2012 | 12:02 pm

Steven Spielberg made a "Hitchcockian-style" cameo in "Saturday Night Live's" "Laser Cats" digital short on Saturday.
Steven Spielberg made his "Laser Cats" directing debut on "Saturday Night Live" this past weekend. He's the second A-list director to lend his name to the long-running series of ultra-low-budget shorts involving cats that shoot lasers from their mouths. Amazingly, the series has been running for six years now.

The SNL Digital Short, which followed the traditional format of having cast members Andy Samberg and Bill Hader pitching "SNL" honcho Lorne Michaels on their latest "Laser Cats" idea, featured Spielberg as himself (wearing a Laser Cats T-shirt and baseball cap) and in a "Hitchcockian-style" cameo in the short itself.

The short, "Laser Cats 7," was filled with references to Spielberg's filmography, including Josh Brolin as a Toht-like villain (see the Nazi from "Raiders of the Lost Ark"), Fred Armisen as a Mora Ram-like villain (see "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom"), E.T. (see "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial"), tyrannosaurus cat (see "Jurassic Park") and a million other call-backs to Spielberg's past work.

Two years ago, James Cameron directed his own "Laser Cats" short, "James Cameron's Laser Cats 5," which featured many references to Cameron's own work and included a cameo from Sigourney Weaver.

The "Laser Cats" series has featured shorts "pitched" to Michaels from such celebrities as Tom Hanks and Steve Martin. But despite the ever-growing roster of big-name talent, the videos are always el cheapo.

How successful was Spielberg's cameo? Mixed. Deadline Hollywood's Nikki Finke wrote, "How desperate is Steven Spielberg?" While Hollywood Elsewhere's Jeffrey Wells wrote, "Even hard-hearted Spielberg haters (there are others besides myself) must have felt a slight softening during the airing of this skit."


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-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Steven Spielberg. Credit: Joel Ryan / AP