Saturday Night Live waited nearly a full hour to address the elephant in the room — President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis — during Saturday’s Season 46 premiere. Although POTUS’ medical crisis was alluded to in the debate-themed cold open (featuring Jim Carrey’s debut as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden), it was Weekend Update that did most of the heavy lifting with regard to his hospitalization.
“This is awful news for us because Trump was actually supposed to host SNL next week,” Michael Che deadpanned. “By the way, is anyone surprised by this? I honestly thought Trump was trying to get coronavirus… All those mask-less rallies [he] was having — that was him being safe?”
The rest of the show was mostly business as usual. Chris Rock entered Studio 8H wearing a surgical mask, then removed it for a pandemic-themed stand-up routine that acknowledged the limited, in-person audience made up of first responders. After that came a series of sketches inspired by this unprecedented moment in history and how it has come to effect both everyday people and those in the entertainment field — including out-of-work stunt doubles.
The episode also featured a tribute to late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (watch here), a powerful performance by musical guest Megan Thee Stallion (more on that below), and the debut of three new featured players: Lauren Holt, who played a character named Irma Gerd; Andrew Dismukes, who played a Buffalo Wild Wings delivery boy in a lackluster NBA Draft skit; and Punkie Johnson, who appeared opposite Chloe Fineman in the best sketch of the night.
What sketches stood out this week? And what missed the mark? Grade the episode in our poll, then scroll down for all the highlights (and lowlights).