Updated May 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

"SNL" cold open takes aim at CDC mask guidance

 "SNL" regular Kate McKinnon as NIAID director Anthony Fauci on "Saturday Night Live"
"Saturday Night Live" regular Kate McKinnon as NIAID director Anthony Fauci in the "SNL" cold open. Photo: Will Heath/NBC

Kate McKinnon as NIAID director Anthony Fauci hosted a show within a show as the latest "Saturday Night Live" cold open parodied confusion over the CDC's new mask guidance.

The big picture: McKinnon's Fauci introduced sketches with "a few doctors who minored in theater" who acted out scenarios intended to demonstrate correct mask behavior.

  • Highlights included Aidy Bryant telling Beck Bennett in the first scenario, set in a bar, that he didn't need to wear a mask — prompting him to tear his off before she adds "as long as you're vaccinated."
  • He replies he isn't, but "I'm entering a bar at 11 a.m.; did you really think I was vaxxed? 'Cause that's on you."
  • Bryan replies: "You're right, I deserve COVID."

Of note: Keegan-Michael Key hosted the penultimate episode of Season 46, Olivia Rodrigo provided the music and Kermit the Frog and Statler and Waldorf from "The Muppet Show" were surprise special guests.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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