How Has the Pandemic Changed Friendship? “SNL” Offers One Answer.

It's the latest in a recurring series of Kyle Mooney-centric sketches

SNL on friendship
Kyle Mooney explores pandemic-era friendship on "SNL."

It’s become a mostly annual tradition for Saturday Night Live to feature Kyle Mooney in a filmed sketch in which some social practice goes horribly wrong. Previous iterations in this series have found Mooney getting ridiculously jacked and dueling to the death with Pete Davidson. Last night’s episode saw the latest entry in this series, which found Mooney reflecting on friendship during the pandemic — and got progressively stranger from there.

At the heart of the sketch is Mooney’s self-consciously awkward comedic persona, riffing on feelings of insecurity and the very real questions of human connection sparked by the pandemic. Watching Mooney seek out his fellow cast members, awkwardly ask them about friendship and then react in borderline-inappropriate ways is a solid enough setup, and the payoffs later in the sketch work out nicely.

There’s also a brief reference to last season’s “Deep Quote Game Night” sketch; a deep cut about deep quotes seems entirely fitting here. There’s also a Lorne Michaels cameo (as one might expect) and a nod to a 1990s sporting scandal. The more anything-goes the Mooney-focused sketches get, the better they tend to be — and this one escalates very well indeed.

Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.