“Saturday Night Live” returned this week after a brief hiatus during which host Benedict Cumberbatch appeared in the cold open sketch targeting the leaked draft Supreme Court Opinion, Samuel Alito, bringing Roe v. Wade would fall.
The sketch began with a voice-over and a scroll of text that referred to Alito’s citation of a 17th-century British law as justification for the restriction of rights enacted for half a century by the landmark Roe v. Wade from 1973 were protected.
In the open air, Cumberbatch told his friends, set in 13th-century England, that a brilliant idea about abortion had once occurred to him: “Don’t you think we should make a law against it?” , like the law we have against pointy shoes?”
“We should make a law,” says Cumberbatch, “that will stand the test of time so that in hundreds and hundreds of years they will say there is no need to update this at all, they nailed it in 1235.”
Cumberbatch was confronted with a woman, played by Cecily Strong, who wondered why men should have such control over women’s bodies given the high maternal and child mortality rate at the time.
“Shouldn’t women have the right to vote since having a baby is a 50 percent chance of dying?” Strong’s character asked.
“That’s why we also offer maternity leave,” Cumberbatch said. “When you’re done with 20 years of uninterrupted motherhood, you’re good to go.”
“Shouldn’t we at least make exceptions for rape or incest?” Andrew Dismuke’s character asked, with a quick response from James Austin Johnson, who said, “But those are the only kinds of sex.”
Strong asked the men why they care so much about this issue instead of focusing on the fact that most of the people in the city are illiterate or that everyone is dying from an ongoing plague.
“Oh, you think just because I have an active plague I have to wear a mask?” Dismukes asked, adding, “It’s my body, my choice.”
Kate McKinnon also starred as a witch who came in with dark predictions about the future. She introduced herself as not a magical character, but “just a woman in her thirties”.
“These barbaric laws will one day be overruled by something called progress,” she said. “Maybe 50 years after progress, they’ll say, ‘Maybe we should reverse progress.’ “
McKinnon’s character also explained that going forward, “it seems like all the power is coming from a place called Florida,” and she nodded to the oddness of the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial that made headlines around the world.
During the Weekend Update news segment, co-hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che spent most of their time discussing the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft advisory opinion.
“Well folks, tomorrow is Mother’s Day, whether you like it or not,” Jost joked above, noting that the leak was “unprecedented” and could cause “permanent damage” to the Supreme Court.
“Well, the court is usually cautious, but they only got it wrong that once and now they have to live with it forever,” he said dryly. “Wow, that sounds really unfair.”
Jost then said the Supreme Court opinion was written by Justice Alito, who based his arguments on 17th-century law. “So it’s an outdated opinion of an angry 70-year-old?” he asked. “This should not be a Supreme Court decision; it should only be a Facebook post.”
Che then took over the conversation, noting that as a man it was impossible for him to see the full impact of the Roe v. Wade could understand.
What Che mentions is that the verdict will have a “disproportionate impact” on poor people. “I mean, most Americans don’t have access to the same resources that I do,” he said. “The average person can’t just text Lorne [Michaels] in the middle of the night and say, ‘Yo, it happened again.’”
Che also asks why Republicans are “so anti” abortion. “I mean, maybe don’t consider it an abortion,” he joked. “Think of it as a patriot storming the womb to undo the consequences of an unfair pregnancy.”
Later during the news segment, the presenters invited Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, played by McKinnon, to the desk for her take on the situation.
When Jost suggested that she seemed happy about it, she said, “I don’t know what would make you do it, other than everything I’ve ever said.”
Cumberbatch made his second appearance as the variety show’s host, alluding to his new film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, in his opening monologue, which opens in US theaters on Friday.
“I’m thrilled to be hosting Saturday Night Live again. It was a really fun, great week. But I have to be honest because most of the sketchers this week have been skitting me every day and most of them were about ‘Doctor Strange,'” Cumberbatch said at the top.
“It’s great. I love the guy. I love playing the character. The movie is doing really well, but I’ve been in other movies.”
Cumberbatch joked that he went so far as to say so to Lorne Michaels, to which Michaels responded, “Like what?”
“I said, ‘Well, ‘The power of the dog’ for example,’ and he said, ‘Nobody saw it.’ I said, ‘Come on man. I was nominated for an Oscar for that. I was fine,'” the host recalled. “I mean, I didn’t win. I was hit by Will Smith… No, not physically.”
Cumberbatch turned to share his excitement at being able to host the Mother’s Day show. “Of course I want to wish my mother a very happy Mother’s Day,” he said. “She’s on holiday in Greece right now and SNL offered to fly her here first class and she said, ‘No, I’m on a beach in Greece. Are you crazy?'”
In a pre-taped Mother’s Day skit, Strong plays a mother who scolds her teenage daughter, played by Chloe Fineman, for drinking at a party.
Strong tells her daughter several times how disappointed she is, noting that she never crossed the line when she was young. Meanwhile, every time she makes that statement, there’s a flashback of her as a teenager getting drunk at a party to the song “Tubthumping” and other examples of classic teenage rebellion.
Next week Selena Gomez is making a guest appearance with musical guest Post Malone.
https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/entertainment/entertainment-news/snl-time-travels-to-tackle-roe-v-wade-in-cold-open/3231905/ ‘SNL’ time travel to see Roe v. Tackling Wade in Cold Open – NBC10 Philadelphia