‘SNL’ Wayward Cold Open Spotlights Easter Hopes With Preening Trump, Scathing Dr. Fauci, Sad Elon Musk & A Guy Who Looks A Lot Like Jesus

On the second day of Passover, halfway through Ramadan, the second night of Coachella’s first weekend, and just hours before Easter Sunday, Saturday Night Live kicked off tonight with the Easter Bunny himself, a very timely overeager hipster reference and yet another bloated political cameo skit.

Does nobody think to edit these cold openings? They just get fatter, longer and go nowhere.

“It’s really me the Easter Bunny,” said Bowen Yang in a full furry costume at the promising top of the show. “Either that, or you’re at Coachella and the ‘shrooms are kicking in,” the often perfectly placed cast member added surrounded by an unfortunate department store quality set designed to moan “warm Halloween.”

“Remember, the spirit of Easter is not about candy, or eggs or even bunnies, ” Yang quipped of the notion of the creature overseeing the watered-down pagan Spring festival that contemporary Easter is for many. “It’s about renewal and rebirth” he went on to state, skipping over the obvious Christian connection with a semi-secular soft shoe. That’s why I invited folks from all walks of life to share their hopes for this Easter season.

And that’s when Covid czar Dr. Anthony “still here” Fauci (SNL MVP Kate McKinnon) arrived. Followed by a chocolate rifle holding GOP goofball Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Cecily Strong), NYC Mayor Eric Adams (Chris Redd), ever shifting Twitter shareholder and declared Easter buyer Elon Musk (Mikey Day), a needlessly mocked Britney Spears (Chloe Fineman), self described Jesus stand-in Jared Leto (Kyle Mooney), and back again Donald Trump (James Austin Johnson). A gathering that for the most part should otherwise be known as a group that could use a little less cultural oxygen.

As usual, with Johnson’s ex-Celebrity Apprentice host whining away in non-sequiturs, the stand-out in an otherwise predictable offering was McKinnon’s Fauci, who went straight for the religious jugular, in the best way. “Trust me, I’m not here to give you anymore Covid guidance, I’m not stupid enough to think you are actually going to follow it,” the fictional version of POTUS’ Chief Medical Advisor said. “All I’ll say is that Covid cases are a lot like Jesus, they’ve risen again,” McKinnon added, barely able to contain breaking character.

“And don’t worry, if you’re vaccinated, you’re going to be fine,” the SNL Fauci went on to declare as yet another strand of the virus is hitting the United States. “And if you’re not vaccinated, I’m not supposed to say this, I honestly don’t care what happens to you.”

Now, while not a belly laugh, contrast McKinnon’s Fauci to Day’s Musk impersonation and one-liners.

“Look, I know a lot of people don’t want me to buy Twitter,” the Is It Cake? host said in a shout out to Musk’s likely false flag $43 billion bid for the troubled social media platform. “But why, you’re worried I’ll make Twitter bad?” he then said, angling for the laugh. “What are you scared I’ll buy next, the Oscars?”

“That was a joke,” Day’s Musk then stated, after a not bad rendition of the South African billionaire’s incredibly uncomfortable laugh.

By the time Johnson’s rambling Trump showed up, the only honest reaction was Yang’s resigned Bunny’s “what the Hell are you talking about?” Which you could kind of say for almost all of the cold open tonight.

The 18th show of the Lorne Michaels produced series’ 47th season, tonight sees the legendary Lizzo performing double duty as both musical guest (her second time) and host (her inaugural stint). SNL revealed tonight that Benedict Cumberbatch will be hosting on May 7 and Coachella playing Arcade Fire are set to be the musical guest.

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