Sunday, February 5, 2023

'SNL' shoots down the Chinese 'spy balloon' in its cold open and Weekend Update

In addition to being popular posts, my Sunday highlights of the previous night's "Saturday Night Live" help me feature news stories I missed during the week. Last night's episode was no different, as it began with Spy Balloon Cold Open.

Katy Tur (Chloe Fineman) reports on the U.S. military shooting down a suspected Chinese spy balloon (Bowen Yang) with the help of a Pentagon official (Kenan Thompson).
I'm glad SNL is featuring Bowen Yang's costumed impressions, like Krampus, which Yang mentioned in the interview by Seth Meyers I embedded in George Santos responds to his impersonators, who clap back, a spotted lanternfly, a proud gay Oompa Loompa, and the iceberg that sunk the Titanic, in its cold opens as it did his impression of George Santos last month. He deserves the spotlight, especially since he was the one actor nominated for an Emmy last year.

On a more serious note, both Thompson and Yang made valid points in the skit about TikTok and Amazon already surveilling their users and being bigger security risks than a balloon. Remember, Big Data is watching you!

SNL continued covering the balloon story in Weekend Update: U.S. Shoots Down Chinese Spy Balloon, FBI Searches Biden's Beach House.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like George Santos lying about producing Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark.
I'm going to have to return to some of these stories, like Florida loosening gun laws and pressuring the College Board to revise the AP African-American History course, which makes a great topic for Black History Month. In the meantime, Santos claiming to be a producer of a failed Broadway play makes me think he learned the wrong lesson from "The Producers." Speaking of pathological liars, Jon Lovitz had a role in the remake. Santos continues to make my prediction that he will be a great inspiration for comedy as long as he stays in the news true.

Follow over the jump for the rest of Weekend Update, which included bits about animals and science, two topics I can't resist.

Weekend Update continued with Genetics Company Reviving the Dodo Bird, Bear Poses for Selfie.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like a school official stealing $1 million worth of chicken wings.
I'm glad to see de-extinction back in the news, which means I'll have to write about it. Also, the report of AMC offering films like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and "The Woman King" at a discount is both another story I will have to write about for Black History Month and justification for today's post being the Sunday entertainment feature. As for Jost's line about giving the money "BAWK!" that was a joke that was old when vaudeville was king. It's still funny.

The theme of animals and science returned in Punxsutawney Phil On Seeing His Shadow.

Groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil (Michael Longfellow), stops by Weekend Update to discuss seeing his shadow and predicting six more weeks of winter.
Longfellow's Phil really is a bad groundhog, but he did bring up two good science stories. I'm a geologist, so I really will have to weigh in on the Earth's core.

I'm skipping the final part of Weekend Update to feature Coldplay: The Astronaut (Live).

Musical guest Coldplay performs "The Astronaut" on Saturday Night Live.
Not only could I not resist the space and science fiction themes of the song and costumes, I found out in the comments that this is a cover of a song by Jin of BTS, to whom Coldplay dedicated their performance while Jin is serving in the South Korean military. The BTS Army appreciated that.

I close today's post with Pedro Pascal Monologue.

First-time host Pedro Pascal talks about filming The Last of Us and being recognized by fans.
Pascal's monologue packed a lot of personal and career information, including about "The Last of Us" and "The Mandalorian" My wife and I are watching "The Last of Us" and thought episode 3 was some of the best TV we've ever seen. It's about time I return to writing about zombies, which I haven't done since we stopped watching "The Walking Dead" during the early days of the pandemic.

This episode brought up a lot of topics to cover. Stay tuned to see if I do.

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