Kate McKinnon Returns to ‘S.N.L.’ as Dr. Anthony Fauci

For the first seven episodes of its current season, “Saturday Night Live” was without Kate McKinnon’s services while she worked on other projects. This had temporarily deprived the show of one of its most prolific Impressionists, and while other cast members helped fill the void, “SNL” wasted no time putting McKinnon back to work upon his return.

This weekend’s episode, in which pop star Billie Eilish was both host and musical guest, began with McKinnon reverting to the role of Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, in a speech in which he addressed concerns about the rise of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

But first, McKinnon asked, “Do people still think I’m sexy or are we done with it? When people see me on TV, they think this can’t be good. And her kids think, wow, Elf on the Shelf got old. “

He then featured a series of short scenes intended to dramatize real-life scenarios that people might find themselves in this Christmas season.

In the first, Mikey Day played a potential customer at a restaurant who had lost his vaccination card. “Then you are banished from society,” his host, Heidi Gardner, told him. “Have fun living in the forest.” (Like Fauci, McKinnon kindly commented on their interaction, “You can get a replacement card. I think.”)

In other scenes, Bowen Yang and Ego Nwodim played an airplane passenger and flight attendant, and Kyle Mooney and Melissa Villasenor played a mall Santa Claus and a boy hoping to sit on his lap.

Another scene that McKinnon said was about “two brothers unemployed on Christmas Day” turned out to depict former New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (Pete Davidson) and recently fired CNN host Chris Cuomo (Andrew Dismukes).

“We both lost our jobs,” Davidson said, pausing to add, “due to Covid.”

Cecily Strong and Chloe Fineman appeared as Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, both wielding assault rifles, and Aidy Bryant portrayed Senator Ted Cruz, describing herself as “the weirdo with the beard.”

Upon completion of the sketch, McKinnon tried to find something in common. “Clearly this country is divided,” he said. “But I think we all agree on at least some things. We all want to spend time together with our families. “

Bryant intervened: “Or go back to Cancun alone.”

Davidson observed, “Family is all we have.”

“Yes,” Dismukes added. “Since two weeks”.

If the various decorations and poinsettias around Studio 8H didn’t remind you that this was a Christmas episode of “SNL,” the Christmas atmosphere was quickly established with this sketch in which Villaseñor and Alex Moffat played a couple looking at Christmas cards. in your refrigerator comes to life.

Supporters included Fineman and Day as the parents of a particularly fertile Christian family; Yang and Kenan Thompson as a middle-aged gay couple with a long-lived dog; and Punkie Johnson, who forced Miley Cyrus (playing herself) to pose with her for a photo.

What is the shortest period of time that an “SNL” character can exist? A sketch? A weekend update on the desktop? How about a single joke?

It’s a math puzzle that’s put to the test in this segment that is submitted by viral video site TikTok and features a seemingly endless stream of single-serving characters. Keep an eye out for Fineman as a conspiracy theorist obsessed with Blake Lively’s outfit; Eilish as a dancing nurse oblivious to her own patients; Aristotle Athari as a comedian who doesn’t handle boos very well; James Austin Johnson (do we think?) As something called Homer Simpson ASMR; and possibly another 20 or 30 bits that we may have missed.

At the Weekend Update booth, presenters Colin Jost and Michael Che addressed the week’s headlines, including the guilty verdict in the Jussie Smollett trial and criticism of Vice President Kamala Harris.

Jost started:

On Thursday, a Chicago jury found Jussie Smollett really bad at acting. Smollett was found guilty of charges related to the commission of a hate crime. It’s the worst organized hate crime since my all-Christian production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” And in legal news where someone will definitely not be convicted, Donald Trump is being investigated for fraud by the New York attorney general, who wants to depose Trump under oath on January 7. But come on, January 7? That’s the day after your big anniversary. [A picture of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot is shown onscreen.]

What continued:

According to a new report, a former member of Vice President Kamala Harris’ staff says she often does not read informational materials and is not prepared for meetings. It feels really amazing to finally see someone in the White House who is like me. After the tree outside Fox News headquarters was set ablaze by a homeless man, “Fox & Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt said, “This Scrooge won’t get away with it.” And nothing has explained better to Fox News than a rich white lady calling a tramp Scrooge.

His reward for making it to the end of the show was this wacky segment featuring McKinnon and Eilish in a promotional video for a completely generic, but completely objectionable hotel chain, called the Inn & Suites & Hotel Room Inn.

Eilish’s brother, Finneas, appears as a chaotic valet (performing a few extra duties) and Eilish declares at his deadpan best, “See why Trip Advisor called us a stock photo you can sleep on,” as she and McKinnon try and fail to keep them from breaking out laughing.

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