Saturday Night Live Spoofed America’s ‘Mask Confusion’ in its Dr. Fauci Cold Open

By | May 17, 2021

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new statement this week decreeing that people who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks, it led to some confusion over whether this was a broad rule of thumb, or a guideline that would alter depending on context.

The opening sketch of Saturday Night Live this week attempted to provide answers to people’s questions… and failed miserably. In the cold open, cast member Kate McKinnon broaches the subject in character as chief presidential medical advisor, Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and “patron saint of Purell” himself, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“A lot of people had questions,” she says of the new rule, “such as ‘what does that mean?’, ‘what the hell are you talking about?’, ‘is this a trap?'”

And so McKinnon’s Fauci recruits a group of CDC medical professionals-turned-thespians to act out some hypothetical scenarios, in order to help clear things up a little. What follows is a series of short skits depicting correct mask safety in common situations and locations, such as bars, stores, restaurants with outdoor dining, and airplanes.

Each sketch is swiftly derailed, however, when the key message gets muddled by everything people have been through over the last year. For instance; a businessman and air stewardess’ conversation about public health guidelines ends in them both revealing just how horny there are after a year of self-isolation, while two other players discuss whether or not they have to wear masks when they are outside… the Capitol.

“The real takeaway is, we have to trust each other, so please be honest and respectful,” says McKinnon-as-Fauci. “So in summary, please, everyone get the vaccine, and enjoy life with no masks.”

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