Published Apr 26, 2020Returning for a second "at home" edition, Saturday Night Live did some inventive work while its cast, spread out across America, filed remote bits from isolation, anchored a bit by Brad Pitt, who was ostensibly this week's host, and Miley Cyrus, who performed a wistful cover song while seemingly in Hell. Here's everything that happened on SNL this week.
The Cold Open
Two weeks after jokingly being asked to do so by the doctor himself, Brad Pitt portrayed American epidemiological expert Dr. Anthony Fauci to clarify many of the irresponsibly boneheaded things conveyed by Donald Trump about COVID-19. Pitt ended the bit by removing his wig and glasses and sincerely thanking doctors and frontline workers, ending a short but decent opening.
What Up with That?
One of the silliest and most fun SNL sketches was brought back into circulation after a long absence and kind of worked in this remote set up. Kenan Thompson's DeAndre Cole welcomed Charles Barkley and DJ Khaled for short appearances in between being interrupted by Cole and his crew, including Ego Nwodim, Melissa Villaseñor, Jason Sudeikis sax man Fred Armisen, Cecily Strong's new drunken invention Quarantina, and Bill Hader's perpetually cut for time Lindsey Buckingham. Nostalgic, sure, but there was still a nice, topical spirit to this.
In Depth with Brian Sutter
Ego Nwodim plays a news anchor filling in for an ailing colleague, Brian Sutter, who is quarantined at home with his daughter as both recover from COVID-19. Played by Mikey Day, Sutter has no idea his daughter has applied filters to his shot, which was all pretty amusing.
Stuck in the House
Pete Davidson was back with another new self-isolation song but this time, he had a big time assist. Singing about being stuck with his family and going a bit nutty, Davidson was amusing but an unexpected feature by Adam Sandler and his family made this very funny.
Bartenson's Grocery Store
In this funny fake ad, Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon joined forces remotely to play a couple of earnest grocers who are running low on essentials but have a surplus of things nobody could possibly want, like Pepsi Crab, Pepto-Bismol Oreos, a DVD copy of Van Helsing, and Dasani Water.
Ooli at an Airbnb
The inventive and talented Chloe Fineman did some wondrous work playing both Natalie, a woman who turns her home into an airbnb, and Ooli, an awful guest who ends up staying for an extended period of time because of the quarantine rules. This was a nice take on an Odd Couple dynamic, all conjured well by Fineman.
Home from Prison
Chris Redd plays an ex-con who's been freed from prison and tries out a number of booty calls. Unfortunately the women he dials up are either social distancing, married with kids, or rather seriously ill. This was an okay premise but dragged on too long for the joke to pay off.
Pitt introduced us to Miley Cryus, who was set up in front of a smoky bonfire and, accompanied by a guitarist, belted out Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here." Much like Chris Martin's performance two weeks ago, where he performed Bob Dylan's "Shelter from the Storm," we got another comforting but haunting cover song instead of an original, which must mean something. Also the fire and brimstone vibe and Cyrus' stern countenance made this all a bit anxiety-inducing.
Weekend Update Home Update
Adapting things after their previous home edition, which featured a thirsty, forced laugh track and a look at both of Colin Jost's and Michael Che's homes, this week the two were placed in front of a Weekend Update backdrop and offered their jokes to silence. The two covered the latest in American coronavirus news with hit or miss one-liners. Pete Davidson joined in for a remote desk piece from Staten Island via Zoom. He got into a lot of talk about how sex during the pandemic is being discussed by the New York state government, which was fairly amusing and ended his segment with an astude, "It's weird without an audience!" From there, Jost and Che riffed on more headlines, including a good one about racist pigeons.
SoulCycle Virtual Sessions
In a riff on a live version of this recurring bit, cast members played insane wannabe SoulCycle trainers. Cecily Strong, Bowen Yang, Ego Nwodim, Heidi Gardner, and Chris Redd were each equally deranged and funny, though none more than Yang's Lee (Harvey Oswald).
In a riff on O.J. Simpson's bizarre social media videos, Kenan Thompson reprised the Juice and did some double entendre puns about how he fully, completely murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in the 1990s. Alright, then.
Heidi Gardner's pretty Mandy made contact with her long lost cousin, Paul Rudd, over FaceTime. Things got a bit awkward, as Mandy seems to want to take cousin Pauly down a peg but of course, he's just so agelessly affable.
Suspects in a murder trial convene on Zoom for a discussion with an investigator but one of the suspects is late for the meeting. As they're waiting for her to show up, the rest discuss some of their hidden talents, including Beck Bennett's Detective Simms's ability to write and sing catchy-ass songs, like "Rare Steak."
Here for You
A corporate empathy commercial seems to be going one wholesome direction before radically taking a funny turn.
Whiskers 'R' We
Kate McKinnon did one of her mockeries of weirdo, spinster women, in this case one who owns a cat store. Using her single cat, McKinnon pretended it was many, many different cats with pun names, including one that suggested Fiona Apple's first new album in 10 years was "poop." Shots fired.
In this highly edited and stylized lo-fi music video, Kyle Mooney sang a song about an awkward party encounter where he forgets someone's name, which was very conceptual and cleverly done.
Melissa's Big Date
In a nice showcase for her acting talents, Melissa Villaseñor performed a date sketch all alone, performing most of the social rituals involved with coupling but playing off of nobody, which was amusingly compelling.
Aidy's Real Journals
Aidy Bryant read us passages and showed us drawings from her own, actual diaries and journals, which spanned her childhood and onward. We learn that she loved Rosie O'Donnell, "turtels," and is slowly losing her mind reminiscing about such things instead of living her actual life right now.