“There’s been a lot of misinformation out there about the virus,” Pitt says while in character as Fauci.
“And yes, the president has taken some liberties with our guidelines. So tonight I would like to explain what the president was trying to say.”
This was a reference to Thursday’s briefing, when U.S. President Donald Trump wondered out loud if it would be helpful to inject disinfectant into people to prevent the virus — a notion that promptly had health experts warn it was a bad idea.
The cold open, shown from home, played various clips of some of Trump’s other most memorable quotes about the coronavirus, with Pitt-as-Fauci explaining the message.
“They’re going to have vaccines, I think, relatively soon,” said Trump in one clip. Efforts to develop a vaccine could take at least 18 months.
“Relatively soon is an interesting phrase — relative to the entire history of earth? Sure, the vaccine is going to come real fast,” Pitt joked.
Earlier this month, in an interview with CNN, Fauci was asked who he’d want to portray him on SNL — Brad Pitt or Ben Stiller.
“Oh Brad Pitt of course,” he chuckled.
The actor cycled through an assortment of Trump quotes, riffing on each one in character, before taking off his Fauci wig and speaking as himself.
“To the real Dr. Fauci, thank you for your calm and your clarity in this unnerving time,” Pitt said, before thanking medical workers and front-line responders as well.
Saturday Night Live aired its first at-home episode on April 12, with the cast connecting on a Zoom call and actor Tom Hanks hosting from his kitchen.
The show’s intro was modified, showing cast members in loungewear in their respective homes, staying indoors amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The first SNL at-home episode came after the show spent several weeks off the air because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In mid-march, the weekly late-night show had announced it was postponing production due to the crisis.
— With files by Global News reporter Katie Scott, The Associated Press