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‘SNL’ Cold Open Tackles Vaccines, Omicron and the Cuomo Brothers

The Hollywood Reporter logo The Hollywood Reporter 12/12/2021 Christy Piña
© Will Heath/NBC

After a two-week hiatus, Saturday Night Lives cold open tackled COVID-19 vaccines, the omicron variant, Andrew and Chris Cuomo, and the “Fox News Christmas tree arsonist.”

The nearly seven-minute kickoff for the Dec. 11 episode — in which Billie Eilish pulled double duty as host and musical guest — featured the return of Kate McKinnon’s Dr. Anthony Fauci, Aidy Bryant’s Ted Cruz, Pete Davidson’s Andrew Cuomo and Cecily Strong’s Marjorie Taylor Greene.

McKinnon, as Fauci, opened the segment by asking, “Do people still think I’m sexy? People see me on TV, and they think, ‘Oh, this can’t be good.’ And their children think, ‘Wow, that Elf on the Shelf got old.'”

She continued, “Most recent data suggests that if you had a vaccine and a booster, you should be pretty well protected. So, if that’s you, I’d like to officially say: Unclench.'”

McKinnon’s Fauci then went on to introduce members of the CDC, played by SNL castmembers, who would address questions people may have now with the omicron variant: “Is it safe to travel?” “Can I still use this as an excuse to get out of stuff?”

McKinnon’s Fauci then introduced “two unemployed brothers on Christmas Day”: Davidson’s Andrew Cuomo and Andrew Dismukes’ Chris Cuomo.

“Hello, I’m disgraced, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo,” Davidson began. “I’m disgraced former CNN host Chris Cuomo,” Dismukes chimed in. “And we both lost our jobs because of COVID,” Davidson said.

McKinnon’s Fauci noted the Cuomo brothers weren’t the be the only public figures who tend to act deeply offended about minor things. “Some of our most gifted performances these days come not from Hollywood but from Congress,” she said, introducing Cecily Strong’s Marjorie Taylor Greene and Chloe Fineman’s Lauren Boebert.

“The government has been using this fake disease to strip us of our freedom. Do they think we’re dumb?” Strong asked. “Please. Would they give a dumb person a gun?” Fineman added.

“They said the shutdowns were until they found a vaccine. Then, they found a vaccine and said it worked. Then, they said everyone should get it,” Strong continued. “Then, people got it, and it saved their lives. If that’s not Communism, then, honey, I might not know what Communism is.”

Toward the end of the cold open, Bryant’s Cruz returned, introducing herself as “the weirdo with the beardo, Ted Cruz,” adding, “If you’re sick of seeing me, imagine how sick I am of being me.”

McKinnon’s Fauci ended the segment by saying, “I think we can all agree on at least a few things: We all want to spend time together with our families.” Bryant chimed in, “Or run it back solo to Cancun.”

“Family is all we have,” Davidson’s Andrew added, with Dismukes’ Chris saying, “as of two weeks ago.”

Strong’s Greene had the last word: “And, we can all agree that the Fox News Christmas tree arsonist must be executed.”

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Video: Chris Cuomo terminated from CNN (NBC News)


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