Live from New York it’s Saturday Night, I Think.


Hannah Minnick, Staff Writer

After a month-long hiatus, cast members of Saturday Night Live returned to NBC from their apartments in the first “at home” edition in the comedy show’s history. Aired on April 11, the show was hosted by Tom Hanks, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in March and featured Chris Martin as the show’s musical guest. Hank’s monologue reassured the public of his health, his efficient stock of toilet paper, and his opinions on being the “celebrity canary in the coal mine”.
While quarantined in their homes, all 17 members of the SNL cast joined a Zoom video conference for several sketches such as “RBG’s Workout Corner”, where Kate McKinnon performed her familiar role of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and “Masterclass”, where Chloe Fineman delivered celebrity impressions of Timothée Chalamet, JoJo Siwa, and Carole Baskin. Pete Davidson also performed a musical parody from his mother’s basement called “Drake’s Song”.
Several celebrity guests made an appearance on the quarantined edition of SNL; Larry David returned in his familiar role as Bernie Sanders, where David-as-Sanders addressed the decision to withdraw his presidential campaign stating he was “Always a bridesmaid, never the Democratic nominee.” David’s Sanders lacked the normal hair and makeup prosthetics that are put on during the show however, the absence of a toupée did not distract the audience from his hilarious depiction of the Vermont Senator.
“I’m a 78-year-old man living in Vermont, I have a whole room full of toilet paper,” David-as-Sanders added.
Additionally, Alec Baldwin reprised his role as President Donald Trump, during the “Weekend Update”, to talk about how he is handling the coronavirus pandemic with the segment’s hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che. The hosts included their internet audience through Zoom, in order to have their normal laugh track.
The show also featured Coldplay’s frontman, Chris Martin, who performed an acoustic cover of Bob Dylan’s song “Shelter from the Storm” off Dylan’s critically acclaimed album “Blood on the Tracks”. Martin’s at-home recording studio displayed handwritten posters on the walls. One of which had “Entrance to Trains” written on a poster board to resemble SNL’s Grand Central Station-themed studio.
In the closing moments of SNL’s first “at-home edition,” members of the current, as well as previous, cast delivered a tribute to the longtime sketch music producer, Hal Willner, who died on April 7 due to the coronavirus. Willner’s multi-talented career as a musical producer of SNL spans over four decades, scoring countless skits as a vital contributor to the show. In addition, Willner was a renowned producer who worked with many musicians such as Lou Reed, and collaborated with Reed on his classic album, “Transformer.”
“The music becomes such an integral part of the sketch that you kind of don’t notice it, but without it, it wouldn’t make any sense,” said Kate McKinnon, sharing the importance of Willner’s musical contributions.
The heartfelt tribute to Willner featured many SNL alums such as Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Adam Sandler; all of which shared their fond memories of the late producer as they sang a rendition of Lou Reed’s song “Perfect Day.” Others shared Willner’s deep appreciation for music and the creativity that he brought to the show.
“He was a wonderful friend to me, to so many people who worked at ‘Saturday Night Live,’” added comedian and former SNL sketch writer, John Mulaney.
As of now, it is unknown whether Saturday Night Live will continue to produce episodes, on a weekly basis, during the current COVID-19 pandemic. However, the first “At Home” edition scored strongly with audiences looking for the candid humor that SNL has always delivered. To watch the full episode, visit