In a Saturday Night Live tradition now nearly as beloved as the 5-Timers Club, John Mulaney’s return also signals the return of musicals to Studio 8H. Like its predecessors — Diner Lobster, Bodega Bathroom, Airport Sushi and New York Musical — Subway Churro is a masterpiece of over-the-top staging, bombastic scene chewing and a kind of high school theater production silliness that always charms.
For those of you who haven’t been bumping Broadway soundtracks in your car lately or just need a refresher, here are all of the songs parodied in the sketch.
An unfortunate decision to buy a churro while waiting for the train sends two drinking buddies (Andrew Dismukes and Chris Redd) on a musical journey accompanied by a newsstand vendor (Mulaney).
First, Kenan Thompson’s mole person emerges from the steam tunnels to sing about the rat-chewed churros to the tune of “Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific. That leads Mulaney to dream about escaping to the mole world with a parody of “If I Were a Rich Man” from Fiddler on the Roof.
Cecily Strong uses “Bali Hai” (from South Pacific again) to sing about bath salts. We find out we’re in midtown thanks to music of “Skid Row (Downtown)” from Little Shop of Horrors. Then, The Music Man’s “Wells Fargo Wagon” becomes the F Local Subway a-comin’ down the track.
Alex Moffat plays a pervert naked under a trench coat who does a spinning, leaping version of Gene Kelly’s “Singin’ in the Rain.” You’d think that would be impossible to do on live television since the censors wouldn’t have time to digitally blur out his private parts, but the show employs cutting edge technology and high resolut-
OK, they strap a cardboard illustration of a digital blur over his junk. It’s not pretty, but it’s very funny.
Kyle Mooney is Evan Hansen — although he’s not singing a song from Dear Evan Hansen. But really, if you had a choice, why wouldn’t you do “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls? Like the motivational poster says: Be Yourself. Unless You Can Be Jennifer Hudson. Then Be Jennifer Hudson.
Kate McKinnon gets to be a puddle of unidentified liquid singing to “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables. And then everyone comes back onstage with Aidy Bryant to sing “Jesus Christ on a Subway Car,” that classic track from Jesus Christ Superstar.
Interspersed with all of these songs are plenty of local references like the Hasidic Jewish staff of B&H Photo; the immersive theater experience of Sleep No More; and the Guardian Angels (played by the show’s musical guests LCD Soundsystem). It’s a pretty high bar for Mulaney to top the next time he hosts the show.
Elsewhere in the episode, Steve Martin, Candice Bergen, Paul Rudd, Elliot Gould and Tina Fey crashed the party to welcome Mulaney to the 5-Timers club, and the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York opened the show with a rendition of “Prayer for Ukraine.”
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