We may not have had a perfect season, but we had a nearly perfect episode Saturday Night Live† It was the best night, the annual Mother’s Day special, and the cold open was the best of the year. In a scathing rebuke of news that the Supreme Court is ready to quash Roe v. Wadeand Justice Samuel Alitothe leaked argument citing archaic text, SNL brought it back to that “moment of deep moral clarity from the 13”e century.” Host Benedict CumberbatchStill impossibly handsome in his mushroom-top monk wig, marvels at the need to protect the fetus on a fief base across England. “That way, if your concubine needs one, you can just send her off to get one in Olde York City.” About the nagging idea that maybe exceptions should be made for rape or incest pregnancies, James Austin JohnsonThe monk wailed, “But those are the only kinds of sex!” Enter Kate McKinnon: No bogeyman, rest assured, just a woman in her thirties!, she growled through creaking Scottish brogue to the men in charge. “No matter how many choices they take from women, we always have the choice to keep fighting!” So ladies, on this troubling Mother’s Day, whatever choices you’ve made about how you want to build your life, let’s take Kate as an example. Mushrooms for all of us as we prepare to go into the breach one more time.
May we take comfort in men like Cumberbatch, who can worship at the altar of his mother and mother of his children in his monologue and end his evening of standing hosts in a 1973 T-shirt. And allies like Arcade Fire singer Win Butler which is the second – out of three! – ended the band’s songs with a prayer to what was supposedly recorded. “On a woman’s right to choose forever and ever, Amen.”
Cumberbatch had the best joke of the night during his monologue. When describing how he tried to explain to: Lorne Michaels that his career had more juice in it than just his Dr. Strangelove character, he pointed out his praised Power of the dog performance. “I was nominated for an Oscar for that! I didn’t win. I was defeated by Will Smith† May all jokes make themselves so easy and concise.
Speaking of, Colin Josto had a great, terrifying line at the opening of Weekend Update: “Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, whether you like it or not.” McKinnon slid to the anchor desk with an amazingly smooth and terrifying take on Justice Amy Comey Barrett, basking in her lavender Sunday best after the leak. She had some impatient advice for women who aren’t ready or willing to be mothers yet. “Just do your 9 and plop on it.” Life is a cinch, do you 9, do your time, what’s the big fuss about carrying a child you know you can’t raise. “Give it to the stork and the stork gives it to a lesbian…Just do your 9 and dump.” Who has time for small class discussions in America when there are enough good mailboxes to stuff newborns in on their way to church?
On a lighter note, Cumberbatch was an excellent toilet spokesperson. Set to fat joe“Lean Back,” he took off his sunglasses, dropped his elegant trousers and showed a class of uptight potters the wonders of the Rehkline toilet. Never has pants around a person’s vulnerable ankles been so seductive. This is the kind of non sequitur absurdity that belongs in every episode.