This weekend, Saturday Night Live brought back a classic sketch with a little help from Jake Gyllenhaal. In a send-up of the 2018 classic "Diner Lobster," the cast performed a medley of musical theater parodies titled "Airport Sushi." Gyllenhaal made a surprise appearance for the big finale.
Back in April of 2018, Pete Davidson and Chris Redd set off a musical chain reaction when they ordered lobster at a diner from their waiter, John Mulaney. This weekend, they escalated the premise, with Davidson attempting to buy sushi from Mulaney at a shop inside of LaGuardia Airport.
The sketch featured a rapidly transforming set, with whole walls coming apart to reveal pyrotechnics and and special effects that clearly mimicked real Broadway performances. Kenan Thompson began with a parody of Phantom of the Opera, which he handed off to Cecily Strong. They sang about the airport sushi in graphic detail, with Strong belting out: "You'd honestly be better off eating a Wuhan snake."
After a few more appearances, Gyllenhaal joined the stage, to the surprise and delight of the crowd. He played a traveller in his pajamas with headphones around his neck, singing a parody of Wicked about how comfortable he was with TSA security checks. In fact, Gyllenhaal's character seemed a bit too comfortable. He was lifted off the stage on wires, delivering a soulful performance as he flew through the air.
The sketch called most of the cast out on stage, and even drew in musical guest David Byrne for the last number, where they marched off the stage together.
Gyllenhaal has a strong background in musical theater, including three Broadway productions in 2015, 2017 and 2019. He is currently preparing for a new production of Sunday in the Park With George in London, England, where he will reprise his role from 2017.
He was a surprising but welcome sight on SNL this weekend, where Mulaney was hosting for the third time. The comedian admitted that he was not promoting anything in particular this time around, but as a former writer on the show he is always a welcome sight. On top of that, Mulaney's friendship with cast member Pete Davidson makes him a fan favorite, and allows the show to capitalize on both of their stardom outside of the sketch show.
Saturday Night Live returns next weekend for another new episode hosted by actor Daniel Craig, with musical guest The Weeknd. It premieres on March 7 at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
Photo credit: NBCU / SNL