Saturday Night Live returned this weekend for a special quarantine broadcast episode, hosted by Tom Hanks and with musical guest Chris Martin.
With the entire cast of crew of Saturday Night Live in quarantine and practicing social distancing, the production has been in lockdown since mid March. But that won’t stop this machine from making you laugh. Sure, it might be a few weeks late, but at least it delivers.
The episode was hosted by Tom Hanks, who provided a typical monologue (complete with audience sounds, eerie as they were, and audience participation, which was provided by Hanks himself).
Hanks didn’t appear in any other segments for the episode until the very end for the pre-credit roll thanks.
The rest of the never-before-done episode featured a slew of typical sketches that you’d expect SNL to provide even if they were in studio: Pete Davidson’s Drake song parody; working out at home with Ruth Bader Ginsberg; the tedium, overdone quips, banalities and technical frustrations of “work from home” zoom meetings.
The thing is, this is the very first episode of Saturday Night Live to feature only pre-taped content, and no live content. Despite that, everyone on the team managed to make it feel like any other episode of SNL, or at least as much as it could, given the circumstances.
And don’t think that COVID-19 would slow the cameo train any bit. In fact, it made it easier for SNL to feature cameos, because all their big stars didn’t have to fly to New York from LA. Adam Sandler, John Mulaney, Bill Hader, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler, Ana Gasteyer, Rachel Dratch, Molly Shannon, and Fred Armisen all appeared to memorialize Hal Willner, Saturday Night Live’s music producer, who passed last week from COVID-19. Fred Armisen additionally appear in a sketch with Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney. Alec Baldwin called into Weekend Update as Donald Trump. And good old Larry David appeared as Bernie Sanders, possibly for the last time ever.
In addition to the above cameos, SNL still held true to form and provided a musical interlude. Chris Martin offered a solo performance of Bob Dylan’s “Shelter From the Storm”.
There’s no news of when Saturday Night Live will return right now. In terms of back to regular Studio 8H episodes, that’s on indefinite hiatus. But given the success of this weekend’s at home special, we might get a few more episodes before then anyway.
Catch more episodes Saturdays at 11.30 et/8.30 pt on Global! And watch the latest episodes online here on GlobalTV.com/Saturday-Night-Live!