Bowen Yang’s Weekend Update appearances have become a fixture of his two seasons on Saturday Night Live, and the show’s latest episode brought his best impression yet. Yang used the upcoming anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic to do a hilarious impression of the iceberg that caused the ship’s demise, turning the tables on the narrative that it bears responsibility for the disaster more than a century ago.
The concept alone is funny, and Yang’s execution here is flawless. He chides co-host Colin Jost for his line of questioning about the disaster, claiming several times that he was only here to be interviewed about his new album, entitled Music. Yang’s appearance — including a large headpiece made to look like the tip of an iceberg — drew laughs from the in-studio audience before he was even introduced on the show. And his sincere annoyance at being painted as the bad guy was palpable. Yang even made a pretty good point: the ship ran into him, not the other way around.
Still, Jost was pretty hostile toward the iceberg, asking a few pointed questions that Yang’s character certainly didn’t appreciate.
“What would you say, though, to the families of those who perished in the cold waters of the North Atlantic that night?” Jost asked.
“OK, no. These are not the questions that we discussed,” the Iceberg replied. “This is not very nice, Colin.”
Yang’s sincerity in executing the bit is really what sold it, and playing the victim in an incident that killed more than 1,500 people is certainly a cognitive dissonance we’ve seen a lot in modern times as well. There were also some pretty good questions asked by the iceberg, such as why no one blames the cold water for the deaths, not the iceberg that was minding its own business. Perhaps best of all: we got to hear a bit of that Iceberg’s first single as well.