‘SNL’ brings medieval perspective to Roe v. Wade challenge

By | May 9, 2022
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‘SNL’ brings medieval perspective to Roe v. Wade challenge

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” went way back in time to explain why the US Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v Wade.

The show opened with a reenactment of the passage of a 13th Century British treatise cited by Justice Samuel Alito in his leaked draft opinion on the case.

Host Benedict Cumberbatch and cast members James Austin Johnson and Andrew Dismukes portrayed royals who penned the Middle Ages anti-abortion law.

“We should make a law that would stand the test of time so that hundreds and hundreds of years from now they’ll look back and say no reason to change this at all they nailed it,” English actor Cumberbatch said.

Women that disobeyed the abortion ban would be forced to take a ship off the end of the world, or have sex with a donkey dressed as their husband, the nobles decided.

Cecily Strong played a peasant woman who asked why penalizing abortion was a top priority.

“I don’t understand why everyone’s obsessed with this issue. No one can read or write and everyone’s dying of plague,” she said.

In another nod to current events, Dismukes refused to wear a mask even though he had the infectious disease that wiped out 20 million Europeans.

“My body, my choice,” he said.

The show opened with a reenactment of the passage of a 13th Century British treatise cited by Justice Samuel Alito in his leaked draft opinion on the case.
The show opened with a reenactment of the passage of a 13th Century British treatise cited by Justice Samuel Alito in his leaked draft opinion on the case.Saturday Night Live / Youtube

Cumberbatch referenced his new movie “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” multiple times in his monologue.

“They pitch me sketches everyday, most of them involving Doctor Strange,” the 45-year-old said, pointing out he was nominated for a best actor Academy Award for “”Power of the Dog,” a film “nobody saw.”

Cumberbatch kicked off the Mother’s Day’s episode with a heartfelt tribute to his wife and mom, before joking that being a mother isn’t as hard as opening portals in Marvel’s multiverse.

In the first post-monologue skit, Aidy Bryant played a mom who received a series of bric-à-brac wooden signs in bad taste from her extended family.

“Having a mother-in-law is like having crabs,” one sign read.

“Is there more on the back?,” Bryant’s character asked. “It feels like they didn’t finish the joke.”

Other signs made jokes out of a supposed severe case of maternal alcoholism.

“Oh God, it’s wine o’clock I just love watching the sun rise,” one read.

“I only drink on days that end in Y and during hours that have numbers in them,” read another one.

“I don’t drink that much,” a taken-aback Bryant scolded her kids, husband and in-laws.

An ice cream-tasting focus group turned dramatic when two of the participants (Cumberbatch and Heidi Gardner) gave their feedback in the form of romantic soliloquies, before eventually falling in love.

Cumberbatch and Heidi Gardner gave their feedback in the form of romantic soliloquies during an ice cream-tasting that turned dramatic.Cumberbatch and Heidi Gardner gave their feedback in the form of romantic soliloquies during an ice cream-tasting that turned dramatic.Saturday Night Live

The Mother’s Day humor continued as Strong scolded 17-year-old daughter Chloe Fineman for coming home drunk, even though flashbacks showed her teenage years were spent throwing up at parties, driving drunk and having sex with football players to the soundtrack of Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping.”

It was revealed the misdeeds spanned several generations when stern grandmother Kate McKinnon was seen throwing her underwear at David Bowie in the 70s.

The skit ended with a sweet tagline: “You may not have been a perfect person but you’re a perfect mom.”

“Weekend Update” dedicated most of the fake news segment to the Roe v Wade decision, which was leaked by “one bad apple.”

“One bad apple is also another legal argument used in Alito’s opinion,” Colin Jost cracked as an over-the-shoulder graphic depicted Adam and Eve’s illicit apple tree.

Michael Che said an abortion ban would disproportionally affect poor people.

“Most Americans don’t have access to the same resources that I do,” Che said.

“I mean the average person can’t just text [‘SNL’ Executive Producer] Lorne [Michaels] in the middle of the night and be like ‘yo it happened again,’” he joked.

McKinnon sat on the anchor desk as Justice Amy Coney Barrett, and fielded question’s about the court’s decision.

“I listened to the case with an open mind, and I asked all my question,” she said referencing a singular concern about safe haven laws.

“You can leave a baby anywhere in the United States, so what’s the big deal? Just pop it,” McKinnon-as-Barrett said.

McKinnon sat on the anchor desk as Justice Amy Coney Barrett, and fielded question's about the court's decision.McKinnon sat on the anchor desk as Justice Amy Coney Barrett, and fielded question’s about the court’s decision.Saturday Night Live

A spoof of an aristocratic British TV drama featured Strong as a woman who was extremely prone to fainting, repeatedly damaging Fabergé eggs and porcelain dishes while kicking her butler’s drink tray.

When Cumberbatch also succumbed to a fainting spell at the sight of her blood, it was revealed the whole family suffered from the condition due to hundreds of years of inbreeding.

In a short fake commercial, Cumberbatch usurped the conventions of a stuffy boarding school when he showed students they could use the bathroom in comfort in a reclining toilet.

Benedict Cumberbatch played a role in a fake commercial that advertised the world's first reclining toilet on the show.Benedict Cumberbatch played a role in a fake commercial that advertised the world’s first reclining toilet on the show.Saturday Night Live

Cumberbatch and Bowen Yang reunited their New Order-esque avant-garde new wave band from 1983 to provide inappropriate entertainment for children at Chuck E. Cheese, in a third consecutive oddball skit that spoofed UK culture.

Fineman revealed that she is actually “The Understudy” for cast members who can’t make the show when they are sick, giving her the opportunity to do impressions of castmates McKinnon, Strong and Melissa Villaseñor.

Perennially absent cast member Pete Davidson was once again not featured on the show, which returned live after a three-week hiatus.

Montreal’s Arcade Fire was given the rare three-song treatment, performing their songs “Unconditional I (Lookout Kid),” “The Lightning I” off their new album “We.” They ended the show with “End of The Empire I-III,” in lieu of the house band’s typical closing music.

Singer Selena Gomez is slated to host “SNL” next week with musical guest Post Malone.

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