Former “Saturday Night Live” writer and cast member Tina Fey pitched in this weekend to help current “Weekend Update” co-anchor Michael Che deliver the fake news after co-anchor Colin Jost and most of the cast were sent home amid a surge of coronavirus cases in New York City.
Fey and Che fired at a variety of targets, including former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, O.J. Simpson, Elon Musk and the first female NYPD police commissioner for an audience consisting of guest-host Paul Rudd, Tom Hanks and cast member Kenan Thompson.
“So we thought we’d read these dumb jokes anyway and just see if we could make these guys laugh,” Che said at the top of the segment while sitting with Fey on the “SNL” main stage rather than at the usual “Update” desk.
“It’s Christmas, so let’s start with some good news,” Che said. “O.J. Simpson has been released from parole two months early because of good behavior. Said O.J., “I can’t believe I got out of parole early but I did it, I did it.”
Fey joked that after an ethics panel ordered Cuomo to return the $500 million in profits he made from his book about his response to the coronavirus he said, “OK, but you got to reach down in my pocket and take it out yourself, sweetheart.”
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She mentioned that Tesla CEO Elon Musk had been named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year:’ “You can read more about it on your phone while your Tesla is self-driving you into a lake.”
She then said it was the one-year anniversary of the first person who received the coronavirus vaccine, joking “and all I had to do was [lie] about being a nurse!”
Che said after 37 NFL players tested positive for the virus in one day, the booster shot was being mandated for coaches and other personnel.
“And hopefully the [New York] Jets’ shots will come with a little bit of steroids,” he added, poking fun at the sad-sack 3-10 NFL team.
Earlier in the week, New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams selected Keechant Sewell as the New York Police Department’s first female commissioner, “which means policing is about to get a lot more passive-aggressive,” Che joked to laughs from Fey.
“There’s more. You want to hear the other part?” he teased Fey. “Instead of ‘stop and frisk’ they’re going to go through your phone while you’re in the shower.”
Che later joked that a story about a judge in Louisiana taking a leave of absence after getting caught using the n-word made him wonder: “Why are me and Kenan [Thompson] the only cast members here?” Both Che and Thompson are Black.
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The rest of the show consisted of mainly old Christmas sketches from previous shows with a few new pre-recorded bits sprinkled in.
Fey co-hosted “Weekend Update” with Jimmy Fallon and Amy Poehler during her time as a cast member between 2000 and 2006.