This weekend, Saturday Night Live celebrated the conclusion of the 45th season with a melancholic farewell and a hopeful goodbye in the season finale.
Perhaps no sketch epitomized this theme, as did one that featured a large portion of the cast titled “Dreams.”
The sketch was made entirely ‘at home’ because of a home birth in New York City. The sketch begins with Cecily Strong talking to her mom on the phone and discussing how much she wants things to return to normal soon. The conversation – partly reassuring that we are okay and partly venting about the frustration of the situation – is a conversation that many of us have had, probably several times with friends, family and acquaintances, since entering home orders has taken effect throughout country.
Strong then goes to bed and starts to dream, while Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” plays the series. It is not spoken. The whole sketch is just a montage of Strong and SNL cast members who dream of themselves in what seems to be their normal life.
Some dreams turn into mild nightmares, like when Aidy Bryant steals a puppy and Chris Redd is booed. But others only seem surreal because they contain scenarios that were once commonplace, but are now impossible to fathom. Mikey Day visits a museum. Colin Jost and Michael Che skate together on a busy public ice rink. Strong finds her seat in the middle of a packed house in what looks like the opera or a sophisticated gala, but it is Sonic the Hedgehog: The Musical.
And that is the point.
At this point of the pandemic, we now value the things we once took for granted (including Sonic). And many of us wish for our normal lives, even the worst parts of it. That in itself is a kind of hilarious. With this quiet sketch, SNL managed to tap into that and turn it into a moving comedy.