There will be no shortage of bizarre political satire on this season of Saturday Night Live.
Mike Pence’s Fly as Jeff Goldblum’s The Fly
It’s no contest who was victorious in last week’s Vice Presidential debate. It was the fly that landed on Mike Pence’s head.
Saturday Night Live took that moment, and ran with it. Like, really ran, far as they possibly could. In a move that probably nobody saw coming, SNL took their run-of-the-mill cold open debate sketch and turned it into a bizarre parody of the 1986 horror film The Fly.
Weird, right? It doesn’t stop there. Biden goes full Goldblum, since, you know, it’s a Fly parody. Yes, Jim Carrey impersonating Joe Biden begins to impersonate Jeff Goldblum.
But that’s where the bizarreness peaks, yeah? No. Another fly joins Biden/Goldblum. It’s Herman Cain, a former Tea Party activist and victim of COVID-19.
This is probably one of the most bizarre cold opens for SNL this decade. What was a seemingly normal, cameo-heavy (check it out – Maya Rudolph came back as Kamala Harris!) political cold open turned into a logical train wreck. And it’s refreshing. As funny as the typical Alec Baldwin Trumpism of the week cold opens have been, they’re become stagnant and formulaic. Saturday Night Live hasn’t taken a creative leap like this to kick off a show in years – and it’s a glimmer of hope for a new era of creativity and boundary pushing for the 46 year old series.
Double Dose of Musical Guest and Host Drama
To open his monologue, Bill Burr called-out all non-mask wearers – a bit of a jab at the Morgan Wallen drama, more on that later – but it all went downhill from there. He pivoted into a tirade about “cancel culture”, because everyone wants to hear a grown man air his thinly veiled anxieties on national television. As though there aren’t enough edgy comedians trying to weasel out of consequences over terrible things they’ve said by dismissing the public’s legitimate concern.
Not ironically, Burr went on to perform a couple of cancel-worthy bits about women and the gay community. Martin Lawrence was genuinely banned from SNL in the 1990s for a tamer monologue. And already, Twitter is abuzz with frustration over a whole bunch of Bill Burr’s monologue.
But enough about Burr and his questionable stand-up style. He sailed through the rest of the episode rather well, but given the immediate negative reaction to his monologue, don’t expect a second episode with Burr at the helm.
Back to Morgan Wallen, the original guest musician. Early last week, video of Morgan Wallen at a party with no social distancing or COVID-19 prevention protocols surfaced. Not soon after, he announced he was cut from performing this weekend’s episode. Saturday Night Live is operating because of the severe precautions they are taking – so they’re not going to take a chance on someone who is being cavalier about the ongoing worldwide pandemic. Lucky for SNL, Jack White was able to quickly pick up the slack, and performed as musical guest instead. Wallen and SNL set a precedent last week – for those who want to remain safe, a “no tolerance” policy is a viable option.
Tune in next week, October 17 at 11.30 et/8.30 pt for a brand new episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Issa Ray with musical guest Justin Bieber!
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