While the opportunity to riff repeatedly on hit film Fifty Shades Of Grey was obviously front-and-center of Saturday Night Live’s attention on the night that the movie’s star Dakota Johnson hosted, the show kicked off instead with a political lashing of a notable former politician. And helping in the take-down was another of the week’s notable entertainment properties, the Best Picture Oscar winner, Birdman.

In the cold open, one-time “America’s Mayor” Rudy Giuliani (played by Taran Killam) was put to the rack with a rich Birdman parody. He “appeared” on The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson (Vanessa Bayer) shadowed by Beck Bennett as his fine feathered friend. The sketch worked over Giuliani’s recent remarks concerning President Obama and his love, or alleged lack therein, of country. The bit is even better on second viewing — rara avis indeed for SNL these days. Unless, of course, you thought it was a cheep shot.

What did you think of the bit? Have you watched Birdman? A lot of Oscar ceremony viewers last Sunday said they were puzzled by that Neil Patrick Harris underwear bit, another Birdman comedy homage whose reception suggested that indeed the Best Picture winner is still a long way from being the Most Watched Picture.