The latest episode of “Saturday Night Live” opened with Marcello Hernandez and Heidi Gardner masquerading as two reporters from Access Hollywood stationed at the 2023 Oscars red carpet.
The two recounted the miserable circumstances they’ve endured throughout the day — from limited bathroom breaks to long lines outside of the Dolby Theatre — before Hernandez chimed in, “But it’s all worth it to ask Angela Bassett if she really did the thing.”
The comment was aimed at “Westside Story” star Ariana DeBose, who celebrated leading and supporting actress nominees at the 2023 BAFTA awards with a now-viral rap. But the jokes didn’t stop there; Gardner proceeded to levy jabs at the Academy, satirizing the award show’s implementation of revised security protocol following last year’s ceremony.
“Last year, the Oscars had the slap which was awesome. I mean bad. So bad,” Gardner said. “This year, to make sure nothing crazy happens, the Academy hired a new head of security: notoriously calm and sane person, Mike Tyson.”
Kenan Thompson then emerged as the former pro-boxer — face tattoo and all. When asked what new security measures would be put in place for the upcoming show, Thompson explained: “This year, all the nominees have been given tasers, all the seat fillers have been given guns, and Jimmy Kimmel has been given a flamethrower.”
Portraying Tyson, Thompson then noted that the Academy slipped an Apple AirTag into Will Smith’s pocket to track his location, just in case he’s planning another slap.
Other featured players took to the stage embodying a selection of this year’s Oscar-nominated actors, such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.
“Saturday Night Live” stars Thompson, Gardner, Cecily Strong, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Ego Nwodim, Bowen Yang, Chloe Fineman, Punkie Johnson and Andrew Dismukes along with Weekend Update co-anchors and writers Michael Che and Colin Jost. Featured players include James Austin Johnson, Sarah Sherman, Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker.
The series is airing its 48th season under the guidance of creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels, with Liz Patrick directing.
“Saturday Night Live” airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock, the network’s streaming service.
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