Ditching a go-nowhere bit for helpless laughter, Kate McKinnon is all of us at this point
Kate McKinnon, Colin Jost
Saturday Night Live, hosted by Bill Burr last night, may have got off to a pretty disastrous start (for those not interested in seeing Jim Carrey as Jeff Goldblum throwing the fly on Mike Pence's head profusely in Pence's hair), but the rest of that second episode of season 46 went pretty smoothly. Even the one part that was apparently meant to come off the rails. It wasn't surprising to anyone who's seen the show since 2012. That highlight came courtesy of Kate McKinnon, who showed up as a (rather promising) character on the Weekend Update, but when she left herself to general goodwill and laughter.
Most of their correspondence piece was a new character, a Dr. Wayne Wenowdis (say last name quick), an alleged COVID expert who has come to disprove the Trump administration's stance, plans, and social distancing measures on essentially everything. With a truncated little accent and a puff on an unlit pipe, the doctor responded to Colin Jost's account of the Masque Of The Red Death garden party coming up next for Donald Trump and his science-denying fool team McKinnon. Mustowioed Wenowdis invariably stated the apparent irresponsibility with their name and the catchphrase "Wenowdis".
It's not "The Big Ear Family" in terms of conceptual one-joke concepts that are supposed to run out of oxygen in 30 seconds, but it's not great even if McKinnon - ever the beneficiary of the audience's inexhaustible goodwill - toddled graciously Has. At one point the good doctor patiently tried to explain how we all have holes in our faces for an airborne virus unprecedentedly deadly to penetrate, but the laughter started to get pretty dry when McKinnon pulled out a blood pressure cuff, supposedly to Jost an on-air physical to give. See, there's this squeaky sound that makes the thing, and McKinnon started playfully pawing Jost while mumbling something that sounded like a David Bowie / Queen track called "Blood Pressure," and then it did giggling enough that Jost finally broke in. Ask, "Kate, are you okay?"
McKinnon, who by then had already played half of a couple who had been driven insane by pandemic isolation and day-drinking, laughed at the barely-sticking couple's laugh and replied, "I'm obviously not." What happens next should be enjoyed by anyone tempted to simply toss the job we do as soldiers into our shared quarantine isolation brain. You know how McKinnon (like herself) laughs, which has to do with the worryingly uncertain election, the pandemic well into the tenth month, and the shockingly fragile nature of American democracy. And of course, that's what the wrestling world could call a working shoot, but good god if it isn't exactly what we need right now. We actually know that.
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