Jim Carrey got fly and Bill Burr got canceled on a buzzy new 'SNL': 'How did you manage to be sexist, racist and homophobic in under 5 minutes?'

SNL host Bill Burr made some controversial jokes during his opening monologue. (Photo: NBC/Twitter)
SNL host Bill Burr made some controversial jokes during his opening monologue. (Photo: NBC/Twitter)

Jeff Goldblum may not have been available, but Saturday Night Live still found a way to feature the former Fly as the most famous fly in America. The second episode of SNL’s 46th season opened with a recap of this week’s vice presidential debate, which was notoriously hijacked by a winged insect that opted to use Vice President Mike Pence’s head as a landing pad. Twitter was instantly flooded with memes taken from David Cronenberg’s 1986 horror classic, which starred Goldblum as a scientist who gets an infusion of fly DNA. SNL’s version also used that film as comic inspiration, but substituted Jim Carrey’s divisive Joe Biden in place of the universally liked Jurassic Park fan favorite.

For the first part of the sketch, Carrey’s Biden was watching on the couch as his running mate, Maya Rudolph’s Kamala Harris, made so much mincemeat out of Beck Bennett’s outmatched Pence. “I’m speaking,” Rudolph said, directly quoting one of her real-life counterpart’s most famous lines from the actual debate. She also had a strategy for how to make her point even when silent. “I’m going to fix my face so you don’t know what I’m thinking, but every Black woman at home knows what I’m thinking.”

Eventually, a leading question from Kate McKinnon’s Susan Page about court packing led Biden to jump into action, hopping into the same kind of teleporter that Goldblum’s doomed brainiac entered three decades ago. And, once again, a fly came along for the ride. The gimmick ultimately resulted in Jim Carrey doing an impression of Joe Biden doing an impression of Jeff Goldblum, saying lines like: “Your economy is so in the toilet, I want to lay my eggs on it!” And boy did that hall of mirrors trick tickle Twitter’s fancy. (For the record, Carrey once starred alongside Goldblum in the 1988 comedy Earth Girls are Easy.)

But Carrey wasn’t the only proverbial fly in the ointment: Kenan Thompson got his buzz on as former presidential candidate turned prominent President Donald Trump supporter Herman Cain, who was reincarnated as a fly following his death from COVID-19 earlier this year. And this Cain knew exactly who to blame for his demise. “These fools, Trump and Pence, killed me, man,” he complained to Biden/Goldblum. “They invited me to a rally with no mask! ... If you’re watching this at home, don’t trust this white devil about that ‘rona.”

There’s no question that Carrey and Thompson were pretty fly, but host Bill Burr got more mixed reviews. The outspoken comic used his monologue to take aim at two topics that are difficult for many to laugh about: cancel culture and woke culture. “They’re going after dead people now,” Burr said while expressing his frustrations about the canceling of celebrities, pointing out how the long-dead John Wayne was taken to task over the summer for comments the actor made in a 1971 Playboy interview. “It’s like, yeah, he was born in 1907 that’s what these people sounded like. You never talked to your grandparents and brought up the wrong subject?”

The SNL audience greeted Burr’s jokes with a mixture of awkward silence and strained laughter, but the host plowed ahead, turning his attention to the white women he claimed “hijacked” the ongoing push for racial equality. “Somehow white women swung their Gucci-booted feet over the fence of oppression and stuck themselves at the front of the line,” said Burr, who has joked about both the Karen meme as well as the #MeToo movement in the past. “I never heard so much complaining in my life from white women,” he added, before accusing those same women of standing by “toxic white males through centuries of our crimes against humanity.”

Burr capped off his already controversial monologue with al suggestion that Black History Month relocate to after Gay Pride Month. “Black people were actually enslaved. They get February! They get 28 days of overcast weather ... How about you hook them up with July? These are equator people. Give them the sun for 31 days. These gay Black people, they can celebrate ... 61 days of celebrating.”

Reaction to Burr was swift, intense and all over the map. While some cheered him on for bringing serious social commentary back to SNL — and noting that he’s married to a Black woman — others took issue with his conclusions, as well as his choice of words.

“I’ll probably get canceled,” Burr prophetically joked early on in his monologue. SNL isn’t going anywhere, though; Issa Rae will be taking over hosting honors next week.

Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. on NBC.

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