This Week’s “SNL” Covered the Ethics of In-Flight Movies

And the show did so in musical form

"SNL" airplane song
If you've ever been fascinated by a stranger's in-flight movie, this sketch will resonate with you.

At the start of this year’s SNL season, I would not have predicted that some of the year’s best sketches would be in musical form. But the show’s musical odes to the Dune popcorn bucket and being naked in New York in the middle of winter have both been terrific, and this this week’s episode added another entry to that series — this one exploring a peculiar phenomenon that only seems to happen on airplanes.

Specifically, the ease in which you can become fixated on someone else’s in-flight movie. (True story: this is how I first got into BoJack Horseman.) Andrew Dismukes plays a man without devices or headphones who starts watching Ad Astra on the monitor of one of his fellow travelers, played by host Josh Brolin. Throw in some interludes in which the two men sing in full New Romantic attire.

The sketch also features a nice reminder that you do have other options for in-flight entertainment; you’ll note that, in an episode about depowered devices, one of Dismukes and Brolin’s fellow passengers is enjoying a book, and doesn’t have to deal with the social awkwardness depicted in the song.

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There are some nicely specific touches to the sketch as well, including the wildly different takes that the two men have on the film Ad Astra. (To be fair, Ad Astra is very good.) SNL‘s musical turn wasn’t necessarily expected — but it’s paid off nicely this season.


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