8:45pm PT by Trilby Beresford
'SNL' Uses Britney Spears to Talk Controversy With Ted Cruz, Gina Carano
Saturday Night Live tackled the latest Britney Spears documentary in its cold open that played out in the form of a talk show.
"You all know me from my upbeat Instagram videos," said Chloe Fineman as Spears, the host. The idea of the show was so that people could apologize for what they’ve done wrong.
First, she gave a quick shoutout to the Notes app. "Are you looking to post a lame apology, 20 years late?" Fineman's Spears declared. This may have been alluding to Justin Timberlake's apology to Spears that came earlier this month, where he acknowledged falling short in certain moments around the time of the tabloid narrative that followed their high-profile relationship.
In character, Fineman danced as the music played, introducing the first guest. Aidy Bryant played Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. They discussed the crisis in the state, where Cruz was grilled for abandoning the state and going on a vacation to the Cancun. "I deeply regret my actions over the last couple of days," said Bryant as Cruz, "mostly flying United."
Pete Davidson played New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who said that it was "exciting" that indoor dining is coming back, in very low capacities, in New York. The two discussed some discrepancies in the reporting of nursing home and hospital deaths. "I said I was sorry," he finally said.
"I am a man, you are a clown," declared Davidson’s Cuomo, to Bryant’s Cruz later in the sketch.
A number of concerned letters to Spears were read out loud, such as "Are you okay?"
Cecily Strong played Gina Carano, who was recently fired from The Mandalorian after a social media controversy. In character as the actress, Strong said she was not on the show to apologize. "Explain it!" she told Spears. "I never would have made that Nazi comparison if I’d known everybody was going to be so Nazi about it," she declared.
Fineman’s Spears gave a prayer at the end. "I pray that all of you be sane and well, and to be with people who make you feel sane and loved."
Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page was on hosting duty for the first time, with rapper Bad Bunny as the musical guest.
"You probably recognize me from Bridgerton, the show that made everyone text their moms and say, 'You know what? Never mind, I don't think we should watch this together.' It's a bit of a racy show, because of that people may associate me with being this smoldering, sensual, smokeshot of a man, but I assure you I'm just a regular guy," he said during his monologue.
Page continued to poke more fun at Bridgerton in another sketch Pete Davidson and Mikey Day play two intimacy coordinators attempting to organize a love scene between Page’s the Duke and Daphne, portrayed by Chloe Fineman.
Olivia Rodrigo's "Drivers License" song was the subject of a sketch that featured a group of men playing pool and becoming distracted after the song comes on. "It's like she ripped the page out of my diary," said Beck Bennett.
Another sketch featured a pageant called "Mr. Chicken Legs," with Page playing the role of the host. The idea of the pageant was to crown a grown man with "the skinniest legs in America." Page declared, "The stakes couldn't be higher." The sketch featured a magical act called "legs of deception."
We stan Denise Poots. And these men with tiny skinny legs. pic.twitter.com/HJxm2l9bak
— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) February 21, 2021
In Weekend Update, Cruz was scrutinized yet again. "If you hate Ted Cruz, this was a pretty fun week," said Colin Jost. "And if you like Ted Cruz, then you're Ted Cruz."
Later on, Pete Davidson played a relationship expert who talked about valentines day. "I like the pandemic valentines because it's the first time [that] being alone wasn't my fault." He went on to say that he's moving out of the house. "My mom is a lot like this show. No matter what I do, I'm never asked to leave."
Michael Che referenced Kim Kardashian's filing for divorce from Kanye West. "I know from first hand experience how difficult it is to remove that many sneakers from a white ladies apartment," he said.
Nick Jonas will host SNL on Feb. 17, pulling double duty as the musical guest.