There were no solemn renditions of mournful Leonard Cohen songs on NBC’s Saturday Night Live last night, but the gang in Studio 8-H isn’t quite celebrating yet either. A stunned post-Trump mood was apparent in at least of couple of sketches during the pre-Thanksgiving Kristen Wiig-hosted episode.
The first, the pre-taped “Target Commercial,” featured cast member Cecily Strong in a mock ad for the open-on-Thanksgiving store, her gloomy demeanor forecasting a true Black Friday. With the commercial’s narrator promising “a big empty parking lot you can just come sit in” — i.e., escape your Trump-voting relatives on Thanksgiving — Strong’s character mopes in her car, zones out on the toy department floor and generally copes with the start of what likely will be a very blue Christmas.
“Target: Buy Yourself Some Time” was the mock-ad’s kicker, a clever-enough (barely) appetizer for the last original SNL episode before Thanksgiving. The bit’s only real surprise was the absence of guest host Kristen Wiig’s old Target Lady character, the over-enthusiastic sales clerk who probably wouldn’t have fit in with this routine’s downbeat humor. Still, Target Lady was one of the more enduring characters from Wiig’s cast years; seems a missed opportunity.
Another digital short poking fun at the election’s mortified losers was “The Bubble,” starring cast members Kyle Mooney and Sasheer Zamata in a faux-commercial for “The Bubble,” a new “planned community of like-minded thinkers,” where “life continues for progressive Americans as if the election never happened.” Enticements include used book stores where patrons can read Huff Po, Daily Kos and “the explosive comedy of McSweeneys” (“huh,” says knowing hipster Mikey Day reading the latter, “clever”).
“We don’t see color here,” says Mooney’s pitchman (as Zamata casts a sidelong glance), “but we celebrate it.” One-bedrooms don’t come cheap here, starting at $1.9 million. “It’s Brooklyn, with a bubble on it.”
Take a look:
SNL ditched politics and returned to the Thanksgiving theme for “Surprise Lady,” with Wiig resurrecting her unable-to-contain-herself Aunt Sue character. Let in on a big family surprise — one of the nephews will be making a secret visit on leave from the military — Aunt Sue all but explodes with excitement.
Constantly fidgeting with her turtleneck (and an actual turkey), Wiig sells the bit hard, excusable given that her slapsticky performance is the routine’s sole reason for being. Even the sketch’s real surprise ending goes mostly unnoticed as Wiig, turkey firmly on head, is clearly the main course at this table.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone: