This season of Saturday Night Live has been its best in years and the show’s hot streak continued into the new year, as the first episode of 2022 was jam-packed with hilarious sketches. Here are four must-watch moments from the episode hosted by West Side Story actress Ariana DeBose.
Since SNL took its winter break, a brand new variant of COVID has emerged and the show addressed Omicron in the Cold Open with a classic press conference from Joe Biden (played by James Austin Johnson). Biden had a simple three-word solution to stop the Omicron variant from running rampant across the country: “Stop seeing Spider-Man.” The President then pointed out that the surge started just a week after No Way Home started dominating at the box office and when a reporter asked him if there was any data behind his theory, Biden noted that “everyone in America has seen Spider-Man like eight times.”
Since it was announced, fans have wondered why NBC decided to reboot a hilarious sitcom like Fresh Prince as a dark and gritty drama. And SNL had some fun with that concept with a fake trailer for Urkel, a “serious, high stakes remake” of Family Matters. The trailer shows Urkel as a tragic figure instead of a lovable nerd, as the show promises “the goofy characters you loved in the ’90s with absolutely none of the fun or charm.”
Elmo vs. Rocko
Elmo has unexpectedly taken over the internet over the last few weeks and SNL offered its take on the feud between the high-pitched red puppet and rock appropriately named Rocko. Elmo is excited to be invited to be a guest on Weekend Update but that excitement quickly fades when they realize they’re sharing the spotlight with Rocko. As Rocko starts to bond with Michael Che and is announced as the host and musical guest for a future SNL episode, Elmo’s anger builds and eventually they attempt to commit stonicide. Even if you have no context in regards to why Elmo hates Rocko, you’ll still enjoy watching Chloe Fineman nail her Elmo impression.
As show goes on, SNL sketches tend to get weirder and this week’s most hilariously bizarre late sketch was “Winter Formal.” Pete Davidson and Sarah Sherman starred in a commercial for Ron and Donna Lacatza’s Formal Emporium, a “one-stop shop for all your daughter’s school dance needs.” Things start relatively normal, with the couple talking about corsages and dresses but then they tell parents that if they’re worried about their daughters having sex, they can rent their son Donovan (Andrew Dismukes) because he “wouldn’t know where to start.” It’s one simple and reliable joke that keeps getting heightened and by the end, poor Donovan is showing off his swamp ass while dancing like a maniac to “Get Low.”