It has been a memorable week or so for public figures committing misdeeds, and “Saturday Night Live” gave a few of them a forum to apologize on a fictional talk show called “Oops, You Did It Again,” hosted by the relatively blameless Britney Spears.
This week’s broadcast, hosted by the “Bridgerton” star Regé-Jean Page and featuring the musical guest Bad Bunny, began as the cast member Chloe Fineman, playing Spears, reminded viewers that they knew her “from my upbeat Instagram videos and the word ‘conservatorship.’”
She added that she now had a show in which “people could come on and apologize for things they’ve done wrong, because after the ‘Free Britney’ documentary came out, I’m receiving hundreds of apologies a day.”
Her first guest was Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, played by Aidy Bryant in braided hair, bluejeans and a Cancún family vacation T-shirt. Holding up a frothy beverage, Bryant unconvincingly explained that she wasn’t actually tan — “I just cried myself red over my fellow Texans, and that’s why I drink in their honor,” she said.
Bryant added that she was “in a little bit of hot water, which I’m told is a thing no one in Texas has.” If her apology was falling short, she said, “I’m sorry, I’m pretty bad at human stuff.”
The show’s next guest was Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, played by Pete Davidson. Davidson first asked the audience if it had welcomed him “because indoor dining is back in New York,” then sheepishly acknowledged: “All right, I know. It’s because of the nursing home stuff.”
Asked to elaborate, Davidson added: “Some of the people who died in the nursing homes were not counted as nursing home deaths, they were counted as hospital deaths. Which is basically what happens at Disney World, OK? People die and they move the bodies. They say, ‘Oh, I guess Brenda died in the parking lot, not on the teacups.’”
Told that Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York thought he should be investigated, Davidson lashed out: “I will bury him in the tallest grave this city has ever seen,” he said.
The third and final guest was Gina Carano, the former “Mandalorian” star who was fired by Disney, played in the sketch by Cecily Strong.
Though Strong denied that she had done anything wrong, Fineman reminded her that she had shared an Instagram post that compared American politics to Nazi Germany.
“I never would have made that Nazi comparison if I’d known everybody was going to be such a Nazi about it,” Strong said.
When Bryant’s Cruz tried to sympathize with her, Strong brushed her off: “I am strong and you are a pile of soup,” she said.
Cultural barometer of the week
“S.N.L.” was generous this week when it came to acknowledging actors who are new to the pop-cultural firmament, including its host, Page (whose period romance “Bridgerton” was satirized in this somewhat bawdy sketch that aired late in the night). Earlier in the evening, in a sendup of actors’ round tables hosted by Ego Nwodim, Page appeared as the actor Kingsley Ben-Adir, who plays Malcolm X in “One Night in Miami.” Chris Redd played the “Judas and the Black Messiah” star Daniel Kaluuya.
The recreations of those actors and their award-grabbing movies were pretty spotless. The jokes, however, were mostly about having Nwodim’s character fawn over the actors’ British accents (and about Kenan Thompson as Ice Cube, whose efforts to pass himself off as British didn’t go quite so smoothly).
Music video of the week
Nwodim returned for some well-deserved screen time in this slickly produced music video, playing a nightclub patron whose fantasy that she is hitting it off with a handsome fellow reveler (Page) gives way to the reality that she has, in fact, spent the last year living under lockdown in her apartment and gradually lost her mind. (Hence the song title, “Loco.”)
As Nwodim raps in the video: “I’m loco, as in my brain done broke-o / But hey, you either laugh or you cry like ‘Coco.’” Her few acquaintances include Davidson (who has gone so crazy in his own quarantine that he understands the movie “Tenet”) and Bad Bunny (as a singing houseplant).
Weekend Update jokes of the week
Over at the Weekend Update desk, the anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che continued to riff on Cruz’s canceled Cancún vacation and the winter weather crisis in Texas.
Well, if you hate Ted Cruz, this was a pretty fun week. And if you like Ted Cruz, then you’re Ted Cruz. Senator Cruz, whose face is slowly being reclaimed by nature, said that his decision to go on a family vacation to Cancun during Texas’s weather emergency was obviously a mistake. As was the tattoo he got there. [At that moment, a satirical photo appeared behind Jost of a lower-back tattoo of a leaping dolphin.]
Cruz initially released a statement saying he only went on vacation because his daughters made him go. And if you think it was bad to throw his daughters under the bus, Cruz would like you to know that that statement was his wife’s idea. I just love that after he abandoned Texas, he came back in a Texas flag mask like nothing happened. That’s like Jared and Ivanka walking down Fifth Avenue in “I Love New York” shirts.
Che picked up on the riff, adding:
Cruz would have returned from Mexico even sooner but it took him, like, 40 minutes to get out of a hammock. This week’s massive winter storm caused millions of Texans to lose power. It was the most snow seen in Texas since Michael Irvin’s Super Bowl party. Many Texans are without heat and clean water after pipes froze in the extreme cold. “Boy, this kind of thing would never happen in New York,” said people who have never lived in the projects.
Weekend Update deskside bit of the week
Davidson returned to the Weekend Update desk for the latest in his series of personal monologues, this one about the impact of having spent Valentine’s Day in lockdown. As Davidson explained, it was “the first time being alone wasn’t my fault.” And, he said, after watching the “Saving Britney” documentary with his mother, he had to move out of the house that they share in Staten Island.
With mock chagrin, Davidson said: “My mom has way more of a case to take over my finances than Britney’s dad ever did. I was like: ‘Wait, she can do that? And she hasn’t? Doesn’t she love me?’ All Britney did was shave her head. I got a life size tattoo of the Tootsie Pop owl.”
Davidson added: “My mom is a lot like this show. No matter what I do, I’m never asked to leave. Also, they’re both really old and noticeably fatigued.”
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