Brad Pitt portrayed Dr. Anthony Fauci in the second at-home episode of "Saturday Night Live" that featured musical guest Miley Cyrus, an Adam Sandler cameo and plenty of disinfectant jokes.
A bespectacled Pitt, speaking in Fauci's raspy voice, tried to recast false assurances and misstatements pitched by President Donald Trump during the pandemic, for instance when Trump said there'd be a COVID-19 vaccine "relatively soon."
"Relatively soon is an interesting phrase. Relative to the entire history of Earth? Sure, the vaccine is going to come real fast," said Pitt's Fauci, seated at a desk behind a stately bookcase. "But if you were going to tell a friend, 'I'll be over relatively soon' and then showed up a year and a half later, well, your friend may be relatively pissed off."
The episode was the show's second "quarantine edition," with prerecorded segments at actors' homes delving into the frustrations and touchstones of quarantine life, but, of course, with an SNL twist.
Sandler and Pete Davidson teamed up to mock being cooped up with family for a musical duet called "Stuck In The House," another sketch featured a Zoom version of "Law and Order" and another poked fun at zealous fitness moved online during the pandemic with one boasting of "eating clean" by preparing a "Clorox juice" cleanse.
Kenan Thompson, doing his impersonation of former Boston Red Sox slugger David "Big Papi" Ortiz, waxed poetic about food from his native Dominican Republic while hosting a quarantine cooking show complete with overhead camera shots. In his sketch using foods he found in his kitchen pantry, Thompson's Ortiz said the crucial first step would be to acquire a big pot — cue a cameo from singer-rapper Bad Bunny, who played the athlete's "Puerto Rican cousin 'Big Bunny,' " a procurer of giant cookware.
Cyrus, sitting fireside and accompanied by a guitar, performed Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here."
Colin Jost and Michael Che's edition of at-home "Weekend Update" included a call to make donations to the All In Challenge with a special offer for "SNL" fans. The winning bidder will be able to submit a joke for an upcoming segment of "Weekend Update," visit the show's studios on Rockefeller Plaza and meet the "SNL" cast.
Meanwhile, Pitt's depiction of Fauci — the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — followed a CNN interview with the real-life doctor in which Fauci jokingly said that he thought Pitt should portray him when he was asked to choose between Ben Stiller or the "Once Upon a Time in ... Hollywood" Oscar winner. The cold open also featured Trump's far-fetched statements earlier this week about disinfectant and light being studied in the fight against the virus.
"When I hear things like the virus can be cured if everyone takes the Tide Pod Challenge, I'll be there to say, 'Please don't,' " said Pitt's Fauci before he broke character, took off his wig and paid tribute to the real Fauci and thanked him.
There also were jabs at Trump's battle with governors in an outdoors segment with Cecily Strong as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has blasted Trump's handling of the pandemic. Strong's Whitmer urged continued social distancing.
"We're not out of the woods yet," she said, gesturing to her surroundings. "We never will be. We live in Michigan."
With Newsday Staff