Stranger Things star David Harbour made his hosting debut on Saturday Night Live this weekend, and although he might've tried to talk about his other projects — from his stint on Shakespeare in the Park to his title role in the Hellboy reboot — the Upside Down still caught up with him, even at 30 Rock. After taking a stroll through the live audience during his monologue, he encountered a new portal to the demogorgon's lair and ventured in to discover a few SNL favorites waiting in the vines.
One such was Pete Davidson, who spoke for absolutely every fan of the Netflix sci-fi/fantasy series when he asked, "Didn't you, like, die in here at the end of the show. Are you dead or ...?" Anyone holding out hope that Chief Hopper might've somehow survived the events of Stranger Things 3's explosive finale then got a major boost as Harbour stumbled over his words to say, "No, I don't — I mean I can't — I'm not exactly authorized — watch the show, you'll find out next season." Well, that's promising enough.
Another fun moment of Harbour's hosting stint came along when he parodied Joker by way of Sesame Street, giving Oscar the Grouch the antihero origin story we didn't know we needed. The skit was a hoot for anyone who grew up on the classic PBS (now HBO) show, re-imagining Sesame Street as a sunny day-free crime haven wherein Mr. Snuffleupagus was a ruthless pimp, Ernie got shanked in an alleyway for refusing to give up his beloved rubber ducky, and Big Bird became an exotic dancer.
"If everyone calls you trash, and everyone treats you like trash, why don't you just become trash?" Oscar asked himself, before slathering his face in dingy green paint and that gloriously stinky refuse and dancing in the street.
Of course, Saturday Night Live couldn't resist punning politics again — it's practically a requirement of the cold opens anymore — so this week, the show started with a riff on the CNN Town Hall on Equality, hosted by Alex Moffat's Anderson Cooper, and it devolved into a full-on cameo party filled with fake teeth, purple sunglasses, and lots of self-owns.
First, Pose star Billy Porter popped in to introduce the candidates, and after a few of the series regulars popped in — Chris Redd as Cory Booker, Colin Jost as Pete Buttigieg, and Kate McKinnon as Elizabeth Warren — Lin Manuel-Miranda came along to debut his version of Julian Castro, and the season's inaugural host Woody Harrelson returned to reprise his role as former Vice President Joe Biden.
Among the best zingers of the segment? Jost's Buttigieg saying, "There's no wrong way to be gay, unless you're Ellen [DeGeneres] this week," and McKinnon's Warren taking her real-life viral moment to the next level by quipping, "Sir, tell me your bus stop because I want to know where you get off."
Saturday Night Live airs live at 11:30/10:30c on NBC.