‘S.N.L.’ Is Just as Confused About the New Mask Guidelines as You Are

If you still have questions about the newest recommendations for fully vaccinated Americans issued earlier this week by the Centers for...


If you still have questions about the newest recommendations for fully vaccinated Americans issued earlier this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Saturday Night Live” has answers.

This weekend’s broadcast, hosted by the non-billionaire “Key & Peele” veteran Keegan-Michael Key and featuring the musical guest Olivia Rodrigo, began with Kate McKinnon reprising her recurring role as Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, attempting to explain the C.D.C.’s latest guidelines.

“As you probably heard we got some very good news this week and I’m not just talking about J. Lo and Ben Affleck getting back together,” McKinnon explained. “The C.D.C. announced that people who are vaccinated no longer need to wear masks, outdoors or indoors. Pretty great, right? But a lot of people had questions. Such as: What does that mean? What the hell are you talking about? Is this a trap?”

McKinnon introduced a series of performers (describing them as doctors who minored in theater) who would act out some potential scenarios and illustrate proper masking etiquette.

The first scene was performed by Aidy Bryant, playing a bartender, and Beck Bennett, as a prospective patron who is told he can remove his mask — until he reveals he isn’t actually vaccinated.

“I’m entering a bar at 11 a.m.,” Bennett said. “Did you really think I was vaxed? ‘Cause that’s on you.”

Bryant replied, “You’re right, I deserve Covid.”

Bowen Yang and Ego Nwodim played the roles of a business traveler and a flight attendant who hurriedly end up in a frisky situation. (McKinnon observed, “The lesson should have been, you need masks on planes. Not, everybody horny now.”)

In another setup, Alex Moffat and Cecily Strong played people in a large crowd, unsure whether or not they needed to wear masks.

Strong said, “We don’t have to, because we’re outside.” After a pause, she added, “The Capitol building. Now come on — let’s get ‘em.” She held up a prop gun as Moffat donned a MAGA hat and they exited the scene.

In a final sequence, several actors pantomimed a celebration for the end of the pandemic.

Bryant said, “When we come together as a society, we can solve anything.”

Bennett added, “Now let’s talk about Israel.”

McKinnon hurriedly changed the subject. “In summary,” she said, “please, everyone get the vaccine and enjoy life with no masks. Except this audience, you guys, you’ve got to keep them on.”

Either this sketch will make instant sense to you when you see it, or a bit of context may be required: The ESPN documentary “The Last Dance” introduced some viewers to John Michael Wozniak, a former Chicago police officer who became a member of Michael Jordan’s security team, and who is seen in one episode emulating Jordan’s trademark shrug after beating him in a round of pitching coins. (Wozniak died in January 2020, a few months before “The Last Dance” made its debut.)

Now you have all the background necessary to appreciate this filmed segment, presented as an outtake from the documentary, in which Heidi Gardner played Wozniak and Key played the relentlessly competitive Jordan, who won’t stop until Gardner has gambled away her pants, her glasses and her hair.

Over at the “Weekend Update” desk, the anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che continued to riff on the new C.D.C. recommendations.

Jost began:

Guys, great news this week. The C.D.C. announced that fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks or socially distance. Except if you go to most places. [The screen lists various businesses, modes of public transportation and cities where masks are still required.] Anyway, have fun out there. After the announcement, President Biden told Americans to take off your mask and smile. Even though “take it off and smile” is the first example in every workplace harassment seminar.Senator Mitch McConnell, seen here watching a poor family get evicted on Christmas Eve, he reacted to the news that masks are no longer required by lowering his mask and saying, “Free at last.” Which is so wildly tone deaf. It’s like if Matt Gaetz took off his mask and said, “I feel like a kid again.”

Che continued:

According to recent studies, men who have had Covid can experience erectile dysfunction and some have even reported a decrease in the size of their penis. Now that’s how you sell some masks. If you want people to get vaccinated you need to run with this. Forget “Stop the Spread.” It should be “Stop the Shrink.”

McKinnon got to play another prominent political figure this weekend, this time portraying Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who on Wednesday was removed by Republicans from the House’s No. 3 leadership role after she opposed former President Donald J. Trump’s false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him and blamed him for the violent storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6.

McKinnon, as Cheney, said to Jost: “I don’t know what I did wrong. Look at me. I am everything a conservative woman is supposed to be: Blonde. Mean.” After a beat, Jost said to her, “And?” McKinnon replied, “I was done.”

Bennett, who specializes in overconfident huckster types, got to add to his roster tonight: Bob Baffert, the trainer of Medina Spirit, the racehorse whose victory at the Kentucky Derby has been jeopardized by a failed drug test, which Baffert claimed in a Monday interview on “Fox & Friends” was the fault of “cancel culture.”

Bennett, as Baffert, offered other implausible explanations for the horse’s failed test: “Maybe he went to one of those silly Patch Adams hospitals,” he said, “slipped on a banana peel, fell haunch first onto a syringe of testosterone — boom, positive test.” Asked how Medina Spirit had performed at the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, Bennett responded, “He fell apart out there. He’s nothing without his ‘roids.”



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Newsrust - US Top News: ‘S.N.L.’ Is Just as Confused About the New Mask Guidelines as You Are
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