SNL Cold Open Features Hilarious Interview With the Chinese Spy Balloon

Bowen Yang As the Chinese Spy Balloon

Photo: Screenshot from YouTube

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]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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