Saturday Night Live welcomed back former cast member Jason Sudeikis this week, giving him a chance to once again show off his sick dance moves — while giving some surprise celebrity guests a chance to do… well, nothing.
“What Up With That?” — a deliriously silly sketch that aired numerous times during the Sudeikis era — features Kenan Thompson as soul singer turned talk show host Diondre Cole surrounded by musicians, backup singers, and yes, a track-suited Sudeikis as a dancer.
The usual premise is that SNL brings on some legitimate celebrities — in this case, Oscar Isaac (currently starring in Dune), model Emily Ratajkowski, and Nicholas Braun (Greg Hirsch from HBO’s Succession) — none of whom get much screen time because Diondre is too busy singing the show’s intro (and outro and midtro).
Since it was SNL‘s Halloween episode, the guests were in costume, with Isaac dressed as a pirate and Ratajkowski as a cat. Traditionally, the third guest is “Lindsay Buckingham” (played most of the time by Bill Hader), but this time it was Braun, whom Diondre mistook for Buckingham merely dressed up as Cousin Greg from the show.
The overstuffed sketch also included an unannounced cameo from Fred Armisen as Diondre’s saxophonist Giuseppe; an appearance by Steve Bartman (Kyle Mooney), the fan who grabbed a foul ball in a 2003 NLCS game; and The Heebie Bee Gees, which is the greatest name for a zombie disco group you will ever run across in your life or after.
It’s been nearly nine years since SNL‘s last (in-person) “What Up With That?” sketch, which featured “talk show guests” Martin Short, Samuel L. Jackson and Carrie Brownstein.
In April 2020, Sudeikis reprised Vance for a virtual “At Home” edition that aired early in the pandemic during Season 45. Supporting characters then included Taran Killam as the show’s announcer (originally Will Forte); Armisen as Giuseppe, the Kenny G-like saxophone player; Sudeikis as Vance, the overzealous tracksuit-wearing backup dancer; and Ego Nwodim and Melissa Villasenor.
What did you think of Jason Sudeikis’ return? Grade the episode below, then drop some comments.