The Debbie Downer character is infamous on SNL, most famously breaking Lindsay Lohan and basically everyone else in the cast in a Disney World-themed skit from 2004. Rachel Dratch, who played Debbie, would be the buzzkill in a variety of ways, famously torpedoing a family reunion for a group from Ohio that kept Jimmy Fallon, Lohan and others in stitches as she delivered bad news about feline AIDS and other ailments in the sketch.
That kind of nostalgia is why Dratch’s return as Debbie Downer was predictable yet still thrilling on Saturday, as the character came back to bring down the mood about coronavirus at a wedding reception on Saturday as Daniel Craig tried his best to invigorate Table 9 at a wedding.
Dratch is hidden behind a face mask to start the episode, struggling to eat a dinner roll without potentially exposing herself to coronavirus. She got a huge cheer when she revealed herself behind the mask and the crowd realized what comes next.
“Unfortunately with COVID-19 you can display no symptoms and still be wildly contagious,” Dratch said. “Hi, I’m Debbie.”
The jaunty theme song her character is introduced with then plays as the crowd cheers once again. One of the biggest laugh lines from the original sketches is revived here, as the wedding gift Debbie gives to the happy couple is donating to a charity that is searching for the cure to feline AIDS, which is “the leading killer of domestic cats.”
It’s a nostalgic moment for longtime fans of Saturday Night Live, though certainly not under the best of circumstances. Dratch has returned to play presidential candidates, but a fear-mongering ordinary person may be her most timely role on the show these days.