Dr. Anthony Fauci got his wish. Brad Pitt played the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in the cold open for Saturday Night Live at Home this weekend. As Fauci, Pitt acted as a translator for President Donald Trump, explaining what the president was trying to say in previous comments about the coronavirus pandemic.
At the beginning of the sketch, Fauci/Pitt showed a clip of Trump telling supporters a vaccine for COVID-19 would be discovered "relatively soon." Pitt clarified that "relative to the entire history of earth, sure... the vaccine's gonna come real fast." However, if you "were to tell a friend 'I'll be over relatively soon' ... and then showed up a year and a half later, well, your friend may be relatively pissed off."
The sketch culminated in SNL showing Trump's recent comment on using light to help cure the virus. This prompted Pitt to facepalm, just as Fauci did during one of Trump's press conferences.
At the very end, Pitt took off his Fauci wig and thanked the doctor for his calm demeanor during this "unnerving time." He also thanked first responders, health care workers and their families for being on the frontlines during this crisis.
Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, previously told CNN's New Day earlier this month that Pitt would be the perfect actor to play him on SNL. It seemed unlikely, since Pitt does not have a long relationship with the show. Saturday night was his first appearance on SNL since he made a cameo in David Spade's 1998 episode. Incredibly, Pitt has never even hosted.
The April 11 episode set the precedent for the SNL at Home format. Hanks came on at the start to introduce the show with a traditional monologue, except it was filmed from his home in Los Angeles. Hanks joked he was the "celebrity canary in a coal mine" for the coronavirus pandemic, since both he and wife Rita Wilson were among the first Hollywood stars who tested positive for COVID-19. Then, the SNL cast starred in sketches filmed from home.
Colin Jost and Michael Che also filmed a "Weekend Update," with the cast acting as the "audience" just to have some laughter in the background between jokes. Larry David also contributed a sketch as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders while Alec Baldwin called in to play President Donald Trump during a "Weekend Update" bit. Dozens of former SNL cast members also contributed to a musical tribute to the late composer Hal Willner. Martin performed a cover of Bob Dylan's "Shelter from the Storm" from his own home.
The first remote episode was the first new episode since March 7, the last episode of the season filmed from Studio 8H at Rockefeller Center. The episode was hosted by James Bond actor Daniel Craig, whose latest movie No Time To Die was already postponed to November. The Weeknd was the musical performer. Days after it aired, NBC announced the show's March 28 episode with John Krasinski and Dua Lipa was postponed, as well as the April 4 and April 11 episodes.