‘SNL’ game show reveals pandemic’s effect on the brain

Saturday Night Live has a long tradition of using game shows as a gateway to comic book gold. Let this be Will Ferrell’s take on increasingly exasperated Alex Trebek Celebrity danger! or Bill Hader and Kenan Thompson’s more recent stints as hosts of an increasingly bizarre series of game shows, the results have often been hilarious.

This week-end SNL offered a pandemic-themed riff on the form. The premise here is simple: Three contestants — played by Jerrod Carmichael, Sarah Sherman and Bowen Yang — answered host Kate McKinnon’s questions about things they knew before the pandemic to test the effects of the past two years on their brain.

As McKinnon said, Is my brain okay? is “the game we play every day”.

The painfully relatable concept worked well, as did the fact that Carmichael, Sherman, and Yang all found distinctive ways to illustrate the confusion of their characters. McKinnon’s host also got in on the action, creating an inspired stretch in the middle of the sketch.

It is not the first time SNL used a game show to denounce social mores, but this one was particularly incisive. Come for the wheelbarrow jokes, stay for the incisive punchlines.

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