In the cold open to the second episode of “SNL” season 48, Bowen Yang proved that the show still has talent in the cast when he somehow did another “SNL walks through recent current events” open sketch. Hilarious and delicious cold, instead of tedious. You can see for yourself at the top of the page now.
The gag was that Yang is the host of a game show called “So You Think You Won’t Snap,” in which he exposes “the only people in America who still haven’t snapped” to some recent news. If they keep their cool, they make money, but if they crack – doing some horrible thing of their own – they lose.
Organized as a perfect game show for a country full of people who have snapped, “and the only thing that can lift our spirits is a sexy show about Jeffrey Dahmer,” Yang then demonstrated exactly what that means with a deadpan reading of really horrible news.
First up was Heidi Gardner as a “white music teacher and yoga teacher” who promised she was “just kind of a cold person so I promise you won’t get me”.
But Yang set up a “today show-sized glass of wine,” at which point we learn Gardner’s character has been 15 years sober.
Premier Yang notes the destruction of the bridge linking mainland Russia with Crimea that happened earlier today. Then he noted that Joe Biden recently described our current situation as closer to nuclear war than at any time. since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
It didn’t work, so Yang then mentioned several facts showing Biden’s age, culminating in his recent 60 Minutes interview in which he stuttered while trying to answer a question about his mental knowledge – which broke. Gardner’s character.
Next, Chloe Fineman played a “pickleball-curious” mom who was given a stewardess to attack if she slams.
Yang brought up the Herschel Walker abortion scandal. When Fineman assumed it would come back to harm his campaign, Yang noted that the day after the scandal was his best fundraising day. Then he referred to a recent survey showing how many kids want to be influencers when they grow up. The mom was unfazed because her kids love video games. So Yang played a clip from the recent “Super Mario Bros.” trailer. And when she heard Chris Pratt’s voice, she cracked up.
Next up was Kenan Thompson as an older man who should have remained very relaxed, as he was both high on cannabis and had sex right before he went on the game show. But he snapped just hearing the name of Elon Musk.
Finally, Devon Walker played a college student from Michigan who insists that what keeps him up at night is the “cute ones.” Yang flooded him with news about Kanye West — and Walker’s breaking point was when West appeared as a guest on Tucker Carlson’s show.
It was all kind of fun, but the main reason is that Yang sold the hell out of every moment, especially revealing the escalating terrible news with a deliciously calm smugness that made what could have been a painful rehearsal funny.
It would have been nice if “SNL” could try something other than current affairs jokes in the cold opens for a change, but if they had to, that was about as good as it gets. Give this to Bowen Yang from now on, okay?