SNL Doesn't Get the New C.D.C. Mask Guidelines Either

·2 min read
Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images
Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images

“Saturday Night Live” is just as confused about the new mask regulations as the rest of the country is. Last night’s episode repeatedly poked fun at the frenzy set off by the C.D.C.’s announcement earlier this week that fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks indoors. In the cold open, Kate McKinnon reprised her role as Dr. Fauci. Addressing the confusion directly, McKinnon said, “The C.D.C. announced that people who are vaccinated no longer need to wear masks, outdoors or indoors. Pretty great, right? But a lot of people had questions. Such as: What does that mean? What the hell are you talking about? Is this a trap?”

To help clarify the new guidelines, McKinnon asked the C.D.C. Players, whom she described as a “few doctors who minored in theater,” to act out various scenarios illustrating proper masking etiquette. The scenarios included an unvaccinated person attempting to sit in a bar, an unmasked business man on a flight, a masked couple on a date outside, and, in a terrifying and hilarious throwback to the Capitol riots, two unmasked and armed Trump supporters attempting to overthrow democracy. “Okay, that was a very specific example” said a bug-eyed Fauci, “but accurate in terms of masks.”

The confusion theme popped up again in an unplanned, ironic moment when host Keegan Michael Key shouted to an entirely masked audience “Masks are coming off. Life is getting back to normal!” FYI: Local mask orders trump C.D.C. guidelines, and retailers and businesses are allowed to set their own rules—hence the chaos.

Over on the Weekend Update desk, co-anchor Colin Jost riffed on the confusion for a large portion of the segment. “Guys, great news this week. The C.D.C. announced that fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks or socially distance. Except if you go to most places.” joked Jost. “Anyway, have fun out there.”

Jost then mined the C.D.C. guidelines for a few more jokes about his favorite targets — Mitch McConnell and Matt Gaetz. “Senator Mitch McConnell, seen here watching a poor family get evicted on Christmas Eve, he reacted to the news that masks are no longer required by lowering his mask and saying, ‘Free at last.’ Which is so wildly tone deaf. It’s like if Matt Gaetz took off his mask and said, ‘I feel like a kid again.’

Speaking of politicians, Rep. Liz Cheney dropped by the desk to discuss being stripped of her leadership role on Wednesday by fellow Republicans in the House of Representatives. Acting as Liz Cheney, Kate McKinnon said: “I don’t know what I did wrong. Look at me. I am everything a conservative woman is supposed to be: Blonde. Mean.” “And?” asked Jost. “I was done,” replied McKinnon.

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