“Saturday Night Live” star Pete Davidson joked during the show’s “Weekend Update” segment that like AIDS, “it’s still here, it’s just no one’s gotten excited about it since the ’90s.”
Co-host of the Weekend Update segment, Colin Jost, brought in Davidson by saying that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in recent days that people who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 did not have to wear masks any longer, but some Americans were nevertheless “still feeling anxiety and say they’re not ready to go fully maskless yet.
“You wouldn’t know this because your life’s perfect,” Davidson quipped. “But it’s Mental Health Awareness month and my therapist said it’s important to practice self-care, which is why she stopped taking my calls.”
The SNL star went on to joke about how the coronavirus pandemic did come with some benefits such as “getting Chrissy Teigen out of our lives,” adding that he had initially hoped that wearing a mask would make it more difficult for people to recognize him.
That’ didn’t work out though, he said, “because everyone can still recognize me from my eyes. If you see someone who looks like he just woke up and hasn’t slept in days, it’s me,” he joked.
Before the pandemic hit, Davidson said, he was already dealing with some anxieties so “my brain didn’t have room for something new to panic about — like, I can’t start being afraid public restrooms will give me COVID when I was already afraid they would give me AIDS.”
“You can’t get AIDS from a toilet,” Jost interjected.
“AIDS is a lot like SNL. It’s still here, it’s just no one’s gotten excited about it since the ’90s,” he joked, adding that the show’s creator and producer, Lorne Michaels, “actually wrote that.”
“That was his joke,” Davidson added to laughter.
It’s possible that Michaels wrote the joke after analyzing the show’s ratings trend, which is to say, it’s downward: After a boost recently when Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk headlined the show, SNL hit a ratings low, Fox News reported.
After the show announced that Musk would be hosting along with musical guest Miley Cyrus, SNL created a buzz — good and bad, including from the cast — in response, which no doubt led to the rise in ratings.
“However, it seems the controversy didn’t dampen anyone’s desire to see what Musk would do. In fact, it seems it heightened attention on the show,” Fox News reported. “Last weekend’s episode averaged 7.3 million viewers, making it the third most-watched episode for the season behind the ones hosted by Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock, according to Nielsen figures.”
But Saturday’s show, hosted by another well-known sketch comedy star, Keegan-Michael Key, saw SNL’s ratings come tumbling back to earth. The episode reportedly garnered a 3.5 household Live+Same Day rating “in the 44 metered local markets” with “a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating in the 25 markets with local people meters,” Fox News noted, citing the entertainment outlet Deadline, adding that those figures were a major decline in viewership from the previous week.
Key hosted last night’s episode with musical guest Olivia Rodrigo.
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