Saturday Night Live skipped politics (for the most part) in its cold open on the Super Bowl, but made light of the nation’s political divisions with a line-up of NFL Today hosts — James Brown (Kenan Thompson), Boomer Esiason (Beck Bennett), retired Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher (Alex Moffat), Nate Burleson (Chris Redd) and Phil Simms (Mikey Day) — commenting on the newest Super Bowl ads.
One commercial featured a montage of powerful civil rights footage with a surprise twist at the end: “We’ve learned once again that freedom isn’t free. But we must always strive for equality. And we must always reach for … Cheez-Its. Cheez-Its — historically delicious.”
Another ad, for Papa John’s Pizza, was tailor-made for conspiracy theorists: “Real ingredients, no additives, no preservatives, and no child sex trafficking in the basement. Stop by with your Q-pon today.”
The coronavirus pandemic was addressed in an ad featuring Budweiser’s famous Clydesdales punting a syringe end-over-end into a senior citizen’s arm, to the narration “Better get the second dose of cold, refreshing Bud Light.”
Finally, Aidy Bryant doubled up as Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians and Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid for some “phenomenal insight” on team strategies for the game of the year, which, as Kenan Thompson’s James Brown noted at the very beginning, is “four hours of television for 11 minutes of action!”