Even Kate McKinnon seems to be struggling to cope with the current stresses of life during a pandemic. The Saturday Night Live mainstay did her best to bring the laughs on Weekend Update but even she had to break character and be honest about how tough it is to keep things together these days.
McKinnon appeared midway through the segment, which was tough on Donald Trump and the coronavirus pandemic as usual. But her doctor character, Dr. Wenowdis, gave her a grey mustache and hairdo and left her pondering things as Colin Jost set her up. The segment was goofy and awkward, and it seemed that McKinnon was primarily interested in making Jost uncomfortable.
That’s a recipe for success on Weekend Update for sure, but at around the 2:40 mark Wenowdis decided to give Jost an “exam,” where things got very strange: McKinnon started singing “blood pressure” to the tune of Queen’s “Under Pressure” and squeezing a fake medical tool that made a goofy noise. Giggling, Jost asked a clearly struggling McKinnon directly, not Dr. Wenowdis, if she was OK.
“Kate. Kate,” Jost said, stopping the bit in its tracks. “Are you OK?”
“I’m obviously not,” McKinnon said, with no accent, drawing applause from the crowd. She then explained that Dr. Wenowdis is a character she made up to cope with the realities of the pandemic, even if it’s not working as well as she hoped.
“I’m sorry you guys. It’s such a crazy time and this is something I started doing to cope,” she said. “I have a lot of wigs and mustaches at my disposal and it’s a nice way to escape, you know, it’s refreshing to play a character who, um, know dis.”
She then went on to list a few things we don’t know, such as when the pandemic will end, who will win the election and what will “happen to the world.” It’s a sincere moment that seems to have been a scripted breaking of the fourth wall, but there was a moment of unexpected levity when McKinnon leaned on the Weekend Update podium and accidentally set off the joke medical tool, which squeaked and made everyone break again.
“The one thing that we do know is that…” McKinnon offered before changing her mind, “No we don’t know dis.”
The sketch did end on a more positive note, but it was nice to see that even the pros are having trouble in what’s been a sad and oftentimes disturbing year. There’s a lot we don’t know, but at least we’re all in that together when you really think about it.