COVID-19 has changed pretty much everything but one of the few things that has remained a steady, reassuring presence in our lives is Saturday Night Live. The beloved comedy institution managed to stay on the air despite the global pandemic, giving us all some much-needed laughs as we all just tried to stay sane and follow the ever-changing CDC guidelines.
And SNL once again gave us the feel-good content we need with its season finale monologue where the cast members recapped these absolutely insane 15ish months.
Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon, and Kenan Thompson began by talking about how this year was crazy and that it made them pretty crazy. Kenan admitted it was actually a pretty good year for him before saying he mostly kept that to himself because nobody wants to hear that.
Bowen Yang, Heidi Gardner, and Ego Nwodim then opened up about how weird it’s been having to go into work to make the show when the pandemic was very much still a thing, noting that the empty studio full of people wearing masks was “a perfect environment for laughs.”
The rest of the cast joined in with their own weird and hilarious memories of living through a pandemic, including those few weeks where everyone would bang pots and pans to celebrate essential workers, followed by everyone slowly not doing that anymore until “there was just one weird guy doing it alone for like two weeks.”
Like all of us, the cast also admitted that they may not have been doing their best work throughout this living nightmare, as Beck Bennett joked about the time they used a fly landing on Mike Pence’s head as an excuse to make a 15-minute sketch.
And since this is Saturday Night Live, there was, of course, a celebrity cameo. Chris Rock popped up to remind people that he hosted the first episode of the season and that he wanted Kanye West to be the musical guest but he couldn’t because he was running for president. We are truly living in the strangest timeline.
The monologue ended with Kate, Cecily, Kenan, and Aidy saying how lucky the entire cast was getting to be together through all of this madness.
“This was the year we realized we’re more than just a cast,” McKinnon said while on the verge of tears. “We’re a family.”
“And like a true family, we’re kind of sick of each other and we need a little break,” Bryant said.
The entire monologue was oddly comforting, as it served as a great reminder that this pandemic has been draining on everyone physically, emotionally, and mentally. And getting to see that it has been every bit as chaotic and weird for the cast as it has been for everyone will make you grateful that we made it through together. And even in the worst of times, Saturday Night Live has continued to serve as a source of catharsis and laughter for millions of us who desperately needed to escape our daily reality for a bit.