Liam Neeson to Vladimir Putin: You have taken Crimea, now you have to deal with me

The actor channeled his "Taken" character on "SNL" to give a "personal message" to the Russian president

Published March 9, 2014 2:59PM (EDT)

Although Lena Dunham was the star of last night's "SNL," the show surprised America with a delightful cold open starring Jay Pharoah as President Obama and Liam Neeson as a meme-ified version of himself. Taking a minute to address Russia's invasion of Crimea, Obama called on the "Taken" actor to send a clear "personal message" from the U.S. to Russia.

"Recently, I got a very disturbing call. Crimea had been taken," started Neeson. "I hate it when things are taken."

He continued:

"During the crisis the United States and the European Union have been more than fair. But a man like Putin doesn't listen to reason. He'd rather ride in a motorcycle gang or get photographed shirtless on a horse. So I want to give President Putin a personal message from me: Mr. Putin. Vladimir. I've never met you. I don't have experience in international diplomacy. But what I do have is a very particular set of skills. Skills that would make me a nightmare for someone like you. By which I mean I'm an actor. In Hollywood. With a lot of connections."

The actor then drove the point home with a video montage of pyrotechnics, sweaty U.S. aggression and bear-wrestling that only Putin would understand.

Watch the full clip below:

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Comedy Crimea Invasion Liam Neeson Russia Snl Taken Video Vladimir Putin War