When Lance Armstrong Hosted 'Saturday Night Live' In 2005

In October 2005, Lance Armstrong — several months removed from announcing his then-retirement from cycling — hosted an episode of "Saturday Night Live." Of course, armed with a serious case of revisionist history of what’s happened to his career and legacy since, there’s almost too many connections you can make between the humor that was broached on the show and the not-so-funny real-life comparison.

In the monologue, Lance willingly tackles a series of topics, starting with a comment that the last time I did something too good, the French started testing my urine every 15 minutes. It is as defiant and — in retrospect, arrogant — as his now infamous “What Am I On?” Nike commercial spot.

Following that, the SNL cast — pretending to be Lance’s cycling mates — appear off screen and ask Lance if cycling is indeed a team sport, and if so, shouldn’t they be co-hosting the show together? To which Lance responds, “We’ve already been through this, George,” as the cycling team leaves the stage dejected.

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The reference to Armstrong’s love and almost stranglehold of the spotlight above his teammates is interesting because when it all started to fall apart for Armstrong last year, it was his ex-teammates including George Hincapie who agreed to testify against him to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

This is followed by two celebrity cameos. J.B. Smoove, better known as Leon from “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” appears as an audience member who asks whether Armstrong has made any money from the Livestrong campaign, to which Armstrong replies that all the funds to go towards cancer research. Today, after the truths of Lance’s links to doping have become public knowledge, Nike has both dropped its personal sponsorship with Armstrong and severed ties with the Livestrong charity.

Sheryl Crow then appears in the audience, and Armstrong makes a joke about finally setting a date for getting married. The couple broke up in 2006 before it happened.

In one of the skits in the episode titled “Celebrity Ironman,” Armstrong plays a participant in an Ironman contest that includes swimming, running and biking. Armstrong is incapable of being competent at any part of the competition that’s not biking.

Today, the real-life Armstrong is banned from participating in actual Ironman competitions. In races that he does compete, he’s far from a gracious loser.

The list goes on and on. In another skit titled “Carol!” Armstrong is a character who is set up on a date with a rather “large” female named Carol, which of course brings an immediate connection to the strangest part of Armstrong’s interview with Oprah, when he said that he called Betsy Andreu a lot of things, including “crazy” and “a bitch,” but he never called her fat.

Anyways, this episode is on Netflix under “Saturday Night Live: The 2000s.” Armstrong’s episode is Season 31, Episode 4.

If I learned again from re-watching this, it’s that sometimes things aren't as funny the second time around, and also, I’ll watch just about anything on Netflix. Hey look, Kung Fu Dunk’s on Netflix.

Sidenote: Here's SNL's skit on Lance Armstrong after he made his confession of doping on the Oprah Winfrey show. He does a lot of yelling. Plus Manti Te'o is involved. Enjoy.

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