On Saturday, a Chinese surveillance balloon that had traveled across the United States was finally shot down. One week after it first appeared inside American territory, the balloon, which the Chinese government insisted was a civilian research balloon, hit the waters of the Atlantic off the coast of South Carolina. And, always timely with their content, Saturday Night Live quickly made the situation the topic of that evening's cold open.
In a hilarious sketch that touched on Yellowstone, body shaming, and the hypocrisy of privacy concerns, SNL actor Bowen Yang plays the role of the balloon. As he bobs in the ocean, Yang is interviewed by fellow cast member Chloe Fineman, who is playing MSNBC journalist Katy Tur. Yang, who claims he was drifting over Montana because he was a fan of the popular drama series, also took umbrage with Fineman's question about the size of the balloon.
“OK, ouch,” he said. “I’m a balloon, so that’s my body. How would you like it if someone measured your width in buses? Sorry I’m not camera-ready.”
After swatting away a seagull and complaining about not liking the water, Yang also has some hilarious reminders about modern society's concerns about privacy. In taking a swipe at America's love of Alexa and DNA ancestry, the comedian delivers some food for thought wrapped in a sharp joke about data privacy.
By the end of the sketch, which also featured an interview with a Pentagon official played by Kenan Thompson, Yang made a crucial slip of the tongue. “You’ve made it very clear that I’m not welcome here, so good job,” he said. “But let me tell you something: You’re going to miss this Chinese spy balloon—I mean, normal balloon. Damn it. Well, whatever, we already have your data.”
In a hilarious SNL cold open, comedian Bowen Yang plays the Chinese spy balloon that the U.S. government shot down.
h/t: [New York Times]