‘SNL’: John Mulaney sends up Times Square and COVID, calls Trump vs. Biden an ‘elderly man contest’ – USA TODAY

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Brian Truitt
 
| USA TODAY

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Every time comedian and former “Saturday Night Live” writer John Mulaney returns to host the show, he unleashes a surreal, usually bonkers, Broadway-tinged musical sketch that’s bound to delight.

Saturday night’s Halloween episode was no different, with cast member Kate McKinnon singing a version of a Stephen Sondheim classic in a shrimp costume and “Les Miserables” getting a fresh tweak for the upcoming presidential election.

Previous New York-themed installments featured a lively lobster diner, a particularly gross bodega bathroom and LaGuardia convenience store serving airport sushi, and the latest crazy number was set a Times Square souvenir shop owned by Mulaney that’s been affected by COVID-19. 

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A customer played by Pete Davidson comes in wanting to buy a pair of “I Heart NY” underwear and wants to try them on in a fitting room, and it launches a tune-filled montage with a Minion (Kenan Thompson), Mulaney and a bunch of Times Square mascots riffing on “Luck Be a Lady,” McKinnon — as Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Louie — reworking “Send in the Clowns” as “Send in the Crowds,” Maya Rudolph (as the Statue of Liberty) doing a modern reimagining of Sondheim’s “I’m Still Here,” and the ensemble taking on “One Day More” as “Three Days More.”

“Three more days till the election / But the results may take months,” Mulaney sung. “It feels longer than ‘The Irishman’ / Boy, that movie needed cuts.”

Mulaney, in his fourth stint as “SNL” host, also leaned political in his monologue. He roasted New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s COVID press conferences (“He was talking Smurf language after a while”) and called the upcoming election “an elderly man contest” on Tuesday.

“We might have the same elderly man or we might have a new elderly man,” Mulaney quipped before leaning cynical. “But just rest assured, no matter what happens, nothing much will change in the United States. The rich will continue to prosper while the poor languish, families will be upended by mental illness and drug addiction, Jane Lynch will continue to book lots of projects, and when she does, she’ll deliver. She’s so good at being on TV.”

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