'SNL' mocks Ted Cruz's trip to Cancún and Gina Carano's 'Mandalorian' firing in scathing cold open

Ethan Alter
·Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
·5 min read

Ted Cruz's ill-advised trip to Cancún has already been ridiculed by The Simpsons (which, as usual, saw it coming years ago), Seth Rogen and even Fox News. Now it's Saturday Night Live's turn. The late-night show made the embattled Texas senator's flying faux pas the subject of its cold open, hosted by none other than Britney Spears. OK, not the actual Britney Spears: Breakout featured player, Chloe Fineman, revived her killer Britney impression for Oops, You Did It Again, a talk show that lets public figures deliver public apologies after widely mocked missteps.

And no one misstepped harder this week than Cruz, who flew to Mexico on Wednesday with his wife and daughters at the same time that the state he represents was in the grips of a serious crisis brought on by a winter storm and widespread power failures. Although he flew home the next day — and expressed his regret to news outlets — the damage was done. If Cruz (as played by Aidy Bryant) expected to find a friendlier audience with Spears, she reminded him that he made a major, major oops. "It's real bad," she told him, as he still tried to find levity in the situation. "I'm in a little bit of hot water, which I'm told no one in Texas has," he said, before admitting, "I'm pretty bad at human stuff."

Chloe Fineman as Britney Spears and Aidy Bryant as Ted Cruz on 'Saturday Night Live' (Photo: NBC/YouTube)
Chloe Fineman as Britney Spears and Aidy Bryant as Ted Cruz on Saturday Night Live. (Photo: NBC/YouTube)

Cruz continued to fail at being human, once again blaming his daughters for the Cancún trip. "There's so much for kids to do," he insisted, listing the "topless beaches" and "swimming with sick dolphins." "Maybe leave your daughters out of it," Spears said to applause, reminding him that she knows a thing or two about the ramifications of blaming teenage girls for bad behavior. Meanwhile, viewers at home were cheering for Bryant's savage spoofing of Cruz.

Did we say that Ted Cruz had the week's biggest faceplant? Well, Andrew Cuomo and Gina Carano were ready to hold his beer. The New York governor and the former Mandalorian star — played by Pete Davidson and Cecily Strong, respectively — joined the senator on Spears's couch to admit to their mistakes. Cuomo, for example, 'fessed up to undercounting nursing home deaths during the first wave of the COVID pandemic. "They were counted as hospital deaths, which is basically what happens at Disney World," he insisted, "We just did the Disney thing, all right?"

Carano, meanwhile, apologized for her widely condemned social media posts that compared being conservative in present-day Hollywood to the experience of Jews in Nazi Germany. Actually, strike that, reverse it: Just like in real life, Strong's Carano didn't so much apologize as she doubled down on the sentiments that got her fired from The Mandalorian, as well as her planned spin-off Star Wars series. "I've done nothing wrong — explain it," she told Spears, who adroitly summarized precisely what she did wrong. "Congrats, you explained it," Carano was forced to admit.

Cuomo and Carano might not have agreed that they deserved to be on Oops You Did It Again, but they did find common ground in viewing Cruz with absolute contempt. "We're both strong, misunderstood men," the senator said while trying to buddy up to Cuomo, who responded by threatening to send him to a clown hospital. Cruz then tried to befriend Carano, who told him, "I'm strong and you are a pile of soup. If you compare yourself to me, I will blast you to the farthest desert of Tatooine."

Based on the social media reaction, Oops You Did It Again is guaranteed to become an SNL perennial as Fineman's Britney got an A+ for her handling of the three Cs.

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

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