Kate McKinnon kicked off the penultimate episode of “Saturday Night Live’s” 46th season by stepping back into Dr. Anthony Fauci’s shoes (and glasses and combover wig) to deliver a press conference about the CDC’s announcement that fully-vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks. But this wasn’t any ordinary “just stand at a podium and speak (and maybe take questions)” scenario. Instead, McKinnon’s Dr. Fauci brought out CDC doctors, played by the late-night sketch comedy series’ cast members, of course, to act out correct mask behavior since there have been so many questions about the announcement, including, “Is this a trap?”
Additionally for the second week in a row, all of the show’s cast appeared in the cold open sketch.
The first scene was entitled “Man Walks Into a Bar” and featured Beck Bennett as the titular man in question and Aidy Bryant as the worker at the bar. “Do I still have to wear a mask indoors?” he asked.
“You actually do not,” she replied. He immediately removed his mask, and she followed up with, “as long as you’re vaccinated.”
When he said he actually wasn’t, she noted that was bad, but he said, “Well, I’m entering a bar at 11 a.m., did you really think I was vaxxed? Because that’s on you.”
“You’re right, I deserve COVID,” she said.
McKinnon’s Dr. Fauci came back to note that may not be the right takeaway but that “the real point is, we have to trust each other.”
The next scene was “The Friendly Skies,” with Bowen Yang acting as an airline passenger and Ego Nwodim an airline worker. He had his mask on around his chin and called her stewardess, both of which should cause some raised eyebrows. He was ordering a drink, and she pointed out that when he’s not drinking, he needs to keep his mask on. However, when he said he’d been stuck inside for more than a year and asked to if she wanted “to bang,” she replied, “You know I do, king.”
“The lesson should have been, you need masks on planes, not everybody horny now,” McKinnon’s Dr. Fauci responded.
Alex Moffat and Cecily Strong acted as two people at a “pretty large gathering.” Neither was wearing a mask, but he expressed concern and asked if they should be, given the size of the event.
“We don’t have to because we’re outside — the Capitol Building,” Strong replied and then pulled out a prop gun. “Now come on, let’s get them.”
Moffat slipped on a MAGA hat, which resulted in a wide-eyed but otherwise stone-faced McKinnon-as-Dr. Fauci not quite sure what to say at first. After all, their information was accurate when it came to the need to wear a mask or not, though delivered in a disturbing way.
Two of the season’s newest cast members, Lauren Holt and Punkie Johnson, acted out an essential worker scenario in which Johnson wanted to enter Holt’s store.
“I’m still asking customers to wear a mask, respectfully,” Holt said.
“But I don’t need a mask, I’m gay,” Johnson replied.
“And I’m an ally. The first hot dog is on me,” Holt said.
McKinnon’s Dr. Fauci followed up to point out that “being an ally is great but it’s got nothing to do with mask safety. Also does she run a hot dog store? That left me with more questions.”
Andrew Dismukes and Chloe Fineman, both masked, portrayed “two young folks who started dating during the pandemic,” as McKinnon’s Dr. Fauci put it. They were in an outdoor dining scenario, so they noted they could both take their masks off. Unfortunately for him, he revealed a goatee and she did “not like the bottom of [his] face.” His suggestion? To put the mask over her eyes, which worked. Kyle Mooney popped up to try to extend the scene, and McKinnon’s Dr. Fauci shut it down by saying, “I think that’s the doctor that takes improv classes. Because that’s what everyone wants a doctor to do: improvise.”
Attention then turned to public transit, with Melissa Villaseñor noting that masks would still be provided on all buses, subways and ferries. But Pete Davidson still had another question: “Where should I masturbate because buses, ferries and subways all sound like great options.”
Strong returned to play a school scene with Chris Redd, noting that fully vaccinated parents do not need to wear masks to pick up their children from school. “But do I need to be a parent?” he said.
Mooney, Kenan Thompson, Heidi Gardner and Mikey Day portrayed four friends from three different households who were all only half-vaccinated — and “traveling by train from Florida to the U.K.” One of them, they said, was old, while one was a baby, so how many should wear masks and in what order? McKinnon’s Dr. Fauci called it a riddle.
The final part of the sketch was called “Society Is Good Again: A Vision For The Future,” in which Bennett, Bryant, Nwodim and Yang were dancing and discussing how “everybody got the vaccine so we never need masks again. What could be done with all of the masks purchased over the past year-plus? Yang was going to use his as “a parachute for my hamster,” while Nwodim was turning two of hers into a bikini and Bennett was turning one of his into a bikini. Noting they could solve anything, Bennett wanted to turn the attention to Israel.
But seriously, in summary McKinnon’s Dr. Fauci reminded everyone to get the vaccine and “enjoy life with no masks.”
“Saturday Night Live” airs live coast-to-coast on Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. PT on NBC. The Season 46 final will air on May 22, with Anya Taylor-Joy hosting and Lil Nas X as the musical guest.