After Ted Cruz called Big Bird “government propaganda” on Twitter because that fictional character’s account tweeted about the COVID-19 vaccine, “Saturday Night Live” saw an opportunity to create a fictional new kids’ show from the senator. Titled “Cruz Street” and hosted by Aidy Bryant as Cruz, that sketch opened the Nov. 13 episode of NBC’s late-night comedy show.
“For 50 years I stood by as ‘Sesame Street’ taught out kids dangerous ideas like numbers and kindness, but when Big Bird told children to get vaccinated against a deadly disease, I said, ‘Enough’ and I created my own ‘Sesame Street,’” Bryant’s Cruz said.
Andrew Dismukes, Melissa Villaseñor and Bowen Yang played kids on “Cruz Street” who sang the theme song with lyrics that included, “Cruzy days/sweeping the libs away/and he hopes you’ll say/that his beard looks sweet.” Bryant’s Cruz followed that up with, “Grab an eagle and a gun,” which prompted Cecily Strong’s reprisal of her role of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, complete with an AR-15.
The fictional show was sponsored by Q, but unlike the real “Sesame Street,” this had nothing to do with letters, but instead “the man.”
“He will tell us when JFK Jr., who is alive, will reveal himself and help President Trump reclaim his rightful throne,” she said. “I represent America!”
Bryant’s Cruz wanted to talk about other letters as well, namely CRT — for critical race theory: “I think it stands for ‘Caucasian rights trampled.’” Noting that the Proud Boys have been trying to keep it out of schools, two of those Proud Boys were then welcomed to the show: Alex Moffat as Bert and Mikey Day as Ernie. In order to talk about the democrats’ social safety net, Chris Redd played Oscar the Slouch, who Bryant’s Cruz said was “trained by the democrats to suck off the teat of the government.”
Of course, Bryant’s Cruz referenced being mocked for the tweet but then brought out a boot-leg Big Bird who was more green than yellow in the face to say he didn’t feel well after receiving the vaccine.
“My feathers fell out, my nuts got huge and my doink don’t work. It’s real bad, man,” he said. “Maybe the vaccine gave me COVID.”
Pete Davidson then appeared as Joe Rogan, who was the show’s “resident medical expert” to confirm Big Bird’s claims.
“I used to host ‘Fear Factor’ and now doctors fear me,” he said.
Bryant’s Cruz also promised more to come on the show, including the Recount Count (played by Aristotle Athari), who would explain “how Trump definitely won the election,” and shared that the word of the day was “freedom,” which Britney Spears (Chloe Fineman) would present.
Jonathan Majors was the episode’s host and Taylor Swift was the musical guest. Neither appeared in the cold open, though in addition to performing her new single “Red (Taylor’s Version)” Swift also appeared in a digital short music video with Davidson and the guys of Please Don’t Destroy (Ben Marshall, John Higgins and Martin Herlihy).
“Saturday Night Live” airs live coast to coast Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.