Saturday Night Live Debuts Digital, Remote Episode Amid Pandemic

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The onset of the coronavirus pandemic has pushed business and people into their homes and forced them to go digital. In an era where everyone is trying to be as productive as possible and trying to use their time effectively, it would have been impossible had technology not come to our rescue.

The same is true for TV show and movie productions. Although the shooting of new content has completely stopped worldwide, people are trying to make the most of what is available at hand at the moment to entertain audiences – technology.

With that in mind, Saturday Night Live, the hit NBC show, has gone digital for its recent episode, using humour to help people out of the misery that is social distancing.

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Tom Hanks, who himself suffered from the coronavirus, was the host of the episode. Joining him was Chris Martin as the musical host and Larry David, who played the role of Bernie Sanders with a special message after Sanders left the run for president earlier this week. Apart from them, the show had Fred Armisen, Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney who performed a sketch discussing their work schedules and Alec Baldwin, as Donald Trump, called on “Weekend Update”.

Another political sketch, apart from Baldwin’s, was that by Kate McKinnon as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Pete Davidson also did a parody of a Drake song, which was played over a music video directed by his mother in his home. He later did another music video parody of a rapper with only $2,000.

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In addition to these, there was another sketch which featured “Sales Corp Industries’ first Zoom call.” That meeting quickly descended into a lot of chaos.

Another sketch featured “Masterclass: Quarantine Edition” by Chloe Fineman who was performing impressions of Timothee Chalamet, JoJo Siwa and Carole Baskin.

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Heidi Gardner’s Bailey did a YouTube video talking about the coronavirus, The Hunt and her crush on the invisible man in The Invisible Man.

“Middle-Aged Mutant Ninja Turtles” featured one of the turtles getting divorced while another got a test result from the doctor’s office.

Mikey Day played Call of Duty, rather badly, while parodying gamer culture and Twitch streams. On the other hand, Alex Moffat took part in a “Sky Sport Report” parody featuring various quarantine activities.

Aidy Bryant, in “Visualisations with Aidy” provided meditations with a lot of funny virtual backgrounds.

There was also a dating show parody titled “How Long Will You Go?” which featured date-ready singles in a post-quarantine world.

However, not all jokes landed considering it was, at the end of the day, on Zoom. There is a lot of things that go behind making the comedy sketches that are featured on Saturday Night Live. Unfortunately, not all those little things that contribute to making a show great were possible. And thus, the episode felt more like a TikTok rather than the live show that fans are used to. Outside a couple of sketches, there weren’t many major collaborations among the comedians, something that makes Saturday Night Live a variety sketch show. But, that’s okay – considering the amount of anxiety people are going through because of being stuck at home, any form of entertainment is just fine.

Notably, the episode ended with a tribute to Hal Willner who was the sketch music producer since 1981. Willner died of complications related to the coronavirus. Adam Sandler, Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler and Molly Shannon talked about Willner in pre-recorded messages and they all sang Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” together to honour his memory. The tribute also included a recording of Willner talking about his job on the show.

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