In its first episode back after summer hiatus, “Saturday Night Live” dove back into pop culture headlines by producing sketches that parodied “The View” co-hosts’ experiences getting told they tested positive for COVID-19 live on air and mashed up Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ recent space flight with “Star Trek.” But it also threw things back a little bit by allowing guest host Owen Wilson to return to his “Cars” role.
The former sketch featured Wilson as a doctor who interrupted a talk show titled “The Talking” while it was live to first tell Heidi Gardner’s character that she had tested positive. There were questions about whether this had to be done right at that moment, of course, to which he replied that as part of HIPAA compliance, you have to either tell no one or everyone. He left the stage briefly before returning to contract trace with Aidy Bryant’s character. When she noted that yes she had contact with someone who tested positive because he had just pulled away the woman she was sitting next to, he gave her her positive results. He ended up pulling Cecily Strong’s character off-set as well, but for a HPV diagnosis. A few seconds later, left alone at the table, Ego Nwodim indicated an ear wig and said there had been false positives — but not the HPV.
This was similar to the saga at “The View,” which pulled hosts Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro from the Sept. 24 show, only for reports to surface later that they had received false positive tests.
“Star Trek: Ego Quest” featured Wilson as Bezos (donning a space suit and cowboy hat), with a cameo from his real-life brother Luke Wilson as Bezos’ real-life brother, who made up the crew of “weirdos.” Alex Moffat played Richard Branson, who was flying his own purple-lit, Virgin-branded space shuttle alongside Bezos’; the two embarked upon a race. Mikey Day played Elon Musk, who noted that space was only big enough for “one weird, white billionaire” and seemed to also be challenging him to
“Take flight on a midlife crisis of cosmic proportions,” the voiceover said.
When it came to returning to the “Cars” universe, Wilson played himself stepping into a recording booth to work on a new film that was so underwraps they only had little chunks of dialogue. It didn’t stop Wilson from delivering the catchphrase, “Ka-chow!,” much to the delight of the live, studio audience.
Once he stepped inside the booth, things got a little more complicated, though, as he was asked to deliver more adult dialogue than for what Pixar is traditionally known. This includes “Back off, jackass, I wasn’t looking at your wife”; “Grow up, man, your sister sure did” and “What college do you girls go to? Oh you’re in high school? Could have fooled me.” As he went on, it became increasingly clear that the new “Cars” would be revealing his formerly beloved Lightning McQueen to be the new villain of the franchise, also using the r-word to refer to Mater.
“Saturday Night Live” airs live coast-to-coast Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. PT on NBC. The first four episodes of Season 47 also stream live on Peacock.