Saturday Night Live has a track record of punching up and turning powerful people into pantomime versions of themselves—and the long-running sketch show has just added the world's most popular and influential podcaster to that list.
The cold open of the most recent episode, hosted by Jonathan Majors, featured a parody version of podcaster Joe Rogan played by cast member Pete Davidson. While his appearance was only brief, Davidson was able to get in took some serious shots at the controversial comments Rogan has made on his show regarding the Covid vaccine and how to stay safe in the pandemic.
"I used to host Fear Factor and now doctors fear me," Davidson said, referencing the accusations Rogan has faced that he is responsible for platforming medical misinformation on The Joe Rogan Experience. He also offered a series of remedies to the recently-vaccinated Big Bird, including "zinc, ayahuasca, and some horse medicine," a reference to Rogan's recent claim that he was using ivermectin after testing positive for Covid. (Doctors have strongly advised against following this treatment plan.)
Davidson's debut performance as Rogan ended on a not-so-subtle nod towards the recent revelation that he is flexible enough to perform fellatio on himself, before handing back to Ted Cruz. The entire sketch was an extended exercise in poking fun at high-profile purveyors of misinformation, featuring Aidy Bryant as the Texas senator, and Cecily Strong as Marjorie Taylor Green.
This is far from the first time SNL has made jokes about the sensitive topic of Covid deniers and anti-vaccine rhetoric. In addition to skits which saw both Kate McKinnon and movie star Brad Pitt portraying National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci at various stages of the pandemic, the show has also spoofed anti-vaxxers with a fictional game show entitled 'Will You Take It?' hosted by Daniel Kaluuya.
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