The “Saturday Night Live” parody of this week’s vice presidential debate began, as expected, with Maya Rudolph and Beck Bennett calmly having it out, but ended with a different duo: a pair of flies on Mike Pence’s head.
Seizing on the oddity that dominated the post-debate chatter on social media, the show managed to double the insect population that lurked in the hair of the seemingly oblivious Pence.
The first, we were told, actually was Joe Biden, teleported there but blended with bug DNA much like the scientist in the 1986 movie “The Fly,” from which actual footage was included. As he played Biden in an insect costume, Jim Carrey hammered home the point by seguing into the voice of “The Fly” star Jeff Goldblum — first as the misguided scientist, but then also with “Jurassic Park” dialogue and a pitch for Apartments.com.
(Those who had rallied for a cameo by the real Goldblum didn’t get their wish, but they did get to see their man hawking the online apartment finder during later a commercial break.)
Then he was joined by the late businessman/politician Herman Cain (Kenan Thompson), reincarnated in fly form, rubbing his hands and fuming about his COVID-19 death, blamed by many on his attendance unmasked at a Trump rally. “If you’re watching this at home,” said the six-legged Cain, “don’t trust this white devil about that ’rona!”
Until that bizarre turn, the most unusual element of the debate sketch was its evenhandedness. While taking predictable shots at Pence’s evasive answers and moralist attitude, the often left-leaning show also spotlighted some of his rival’s missteps. As Harris, Rudolph pandered hard to fracking supporters with an over-the-top defense of the practice she and her running mate earlier opposed, vowing, “Joe Biden fracks in his free time! Joe Biden will frack you so good, Pennsylvania!”
And when asked about the political minefield of packing the Supreme Court, all the fake Harris could do was dribble her martini and change the subject.
Besides letting Carrey show off two impersonations in his repertoire, the scene showcased Rudolph’s expressive powers as she explained and demonstrated Harris’ facial reactions — from squints and nods to what she called a “Clair Huxtable side-eye.”