John Mulaney has been known for his musical montage skits during his hosting gigs on his alma matter “Saturday Night Live.” The 37-year-old comedian who brought us “Diner Lobster” and “Bodega Bathroom” reprised his musical skit for its newest edition: “Airport Sushi.”
The skit stars Mulaney playing the cashier at LaGuardia Airport while Chris Redd, Pete Davidson and other familiar "SNL" faces through the eight-minute musical experience.
Redd gets a cup of yogurt and Davidson gets just a water initially. After deliberation, he decides to add another item to his order: sushi. As soon as Davidson says he wants to spicy tuna roll, the camera pans to Mulaney’s face looking horrified at the decision while horror music plays.
“You sure you want to eat the sushi?” Mulaney questions Davidson.
Even Redd chimes in, adding, “You’re buying sushi at LaGuardia Airport? Have you lost your damn mind?”
When Davidson says again that he wants his sushi, the dramatic music plays once more before Mulaney simply says, “Your wish is my command,” before summoning the Phantom of LaGuardia, played by none other than Kenan Thompson.
Thompson is costumed in the traditional suit and mask combination with a new addition: wings, feathers, and a beak. He begins to parody “The Phantom of the Opera” ("Phantom of the Bathroom") alongside the sushi’s chef, played by Cecily Strong. They sing of the horrors to come after consuming the sushi from the airport
Mulaney jumps back in for a rendition of “America” ("LaGuardia") from “West Side Story” with Strong and Thompson discussing all of LaGuardia’s quirks. They’re soon joined by "SNL" freshman Chloe Fineman as a flight attendant and cast member Alex Moffat as a rat.
Kate McKinnon’s appearance comes as no surprise, taking on the role of Auntie Orphan Annie. Her rendition of "Tomorrow" ("de Blasio") drags Mayor Bill de Blasio into the skit, discussing the strange intricacies of LaGuardia’s set-up.
“West Side Story” is reprised by Beck Bennet donning a bonnet and onesies for a parody of “Cool” ("Goo Goo Ga") as “the screaming baby about to board a transcontinental flight.”
As if the skit couldn’t have summed up enough of the chaos that can occur at LaGuardia Airport, Jake Gyllenhaal makes a guest appearance donning striped pajamas before he takes on “Defying Gravity” ("Enjoy Security"), suspended by wires as he sang an ode to being searched by TSA.
The skit isn't quite done from there. Bowen Yang makes his entrance after Gyllenhaal flies away, changing the lyrics to “Suddenly Seymour,” a hit from the “Little Shop of Horrors,” to “Profiled Asian" to take on xenophobia stemming from the coronavirus.
Like any great musical experience, “Airport Sushi” has its own big finish. David Byrne, the musical guest for the evening, hit the stage as a baggage handler, parodying his own Talking Heads song “Road to Nowhere,” aptly changed to “Plane to Nowhere” to finish off the skit right.
This is Mulaney’s third time hosting "SNL" since leaving the show as a writer in 2012 after six seasons. The beloved comedian received praised from fans in the comments on the YouTube video, excited that he was able to perform another one of his signature musical sketches.
"Just when I thought they couldn’t top Bodega Bathroom," one fan wrote. "John Mulaney is a gift from God."
Another fan wrote, "When I heard that Mulaney was hosting SNL, I knew there would be another awesome Broadway musical sketch. I was not disappointed."
One person, who admits to have been a critic in the past, really seemed to love the musical moment.
"I've been watching SNL since the 80's and this is one of the most well done skits I've seen on here in a long time," the person wrote. "I've been one of the harshest critics of SNL during all of the years when it just wasn't funny. This was legitimately amazing, though, the way they worked all of those classic Broadway songs into this one skit. No matter how jaded you might be from the up's and down's of SNL over the years, there's no denying that this was one of the best skits they've done in many years."