Comedian Bill Burr set the tone of the Saturday Night Live he hosted with his polarizing monologue, which took aim at the coronavirus pandemic, cancel culture and gay pride month with jokes that divided Twitter. The controversial quips were in line with the envelope-pushing standup comedy Burr is known for, and the theme carried over to two other skits that also tackled sensitive subjects such as racism and police brutality.
In one, a mob boss, Don Pauly, played by Burr, gathers his gang after spending the past 20 years in prison.
He gets the dinner conversation off on the wrong foot when he laments that “the freaking Mexicans (are) controlling the neighborhood” to the objection of his companions who call his qualification racial.
As Pauly does not seem to understand why his phrasing may be insensitive, a fellow mobster, played by Pete Davidson, tries to explain.
“We understand your point Don Polly but, with all due respect, your choice of words to some people may seem a little, I don’t know… outdated.”
Pauly goes on to address “Nicky the Nose” before being educated that giving nicknames based on physical appearance is no longer considered appropriate and is referred as shaming.
Said Davidson’s character, “A lot changed in the last 20 years,” leading to Burr’s Pauly to exclaim,
“No kidding, this gang din’t use to be filled with a bunch of queers,” triggering a chorus of protests.
Watch the sketch below, which also touches on themes of diversity (#MafiaSoWhite) and consent:
In another sketch, Burr plays a sportscaster on a morning NFL-themed TV show who is all pumped up about Chicago Bears’ win over Tampa and goes on a tirade before his two visibly upset Black co-hosts, played by Kenan Thompson and Ego Nwodim, say that they did not watch the game because there was a shooting of a Black man by the police, which sparked protests and riots that they watched instead. Burr’s character is caught off-guard and appears completely oblivious to the news. He tries to not look insensitive and pretends that he too followed the story on the news but his statements unravel and his pre-arranged elaborate prank for his co-host (Thompson) backfires.
Kate McKinnon appeared on “Weekend Update” as medical expert Dr. Wayne Wenowdis and was asked to give a second opinion following President Donald Trump’s “medical evaluation” on Fox News Friday night.
After a lot of amusing back-and-forth between McKinnon’s Wenowdis and “Weekend Update” co-anchor Colin Jost, which played off Wenowdis’ last name with both breaking character for fits of laughter, McKinnon broke the fourth wall by addressing viewers.
“I’m sorry, It’s such a crazy time that I started doing this to cope. I have a lot of wigs and mustaches at my disposal and that’s a nice way to escape it’s refreshing to play a character… who know this,” she said. “Who will win the election, we don’t know this. When will the pandemic end, this we don’t know this. What will happen to the world, we do not know this,” she said before getting back into character to finish the bit.
As usual, “Weekend Update” opened with a segment dedicated to Donald Trump. “This week was mental illness awareness week and trust me, we are aware,” Jost said to a photo of Trump removing his mask on the balcony of the White House.
Jost went to refer to Trump as “president and active bio weapon.”
He also speculated that Trump may have been in a coma while in the hospital and thought it was 2016 when he woke up because he started calling for Hillary Clinton’s emails and Obama’s arrest, a reference to recent Trump tweets.
Co-anchor Michael Che went dark, comparing Trump’s recovery from the virus to “a car crash (when) the only survivor is the drunk driver,” revealed God’s reaction to Trump’s statement that getting COVID was “a blessing from god” and explained why the president surviving the illness “is not a lose – lose.”