In a time where it’s becoming increasingly harder to watch the news without becoming instantly depressed, what we need more than anything is an escape from it all. Fortunately, John Mulaney and Saturday Night Live has our back with their weird New York musical trilogy.
First we had Diner Lobster, which was a sketch that dated back to 2010, written by Mulaney and Colin Jost. It never made it past the read-through stage at the time. However, when Mulaney returned to host in 2018 for the first time, he decided to bring the sketch back. The result was probably one of the most original SNL sketches we had seen in years. The sketch itself is simple. Pete Davidson orders a lobster in a diner, which leads into a Les Miserables parody of why you should never order a lobster in a diner, lead by Mulaney and Kenan Thompson as the lobster.
In 2019, they followed this success up with Bodega Bathroom. Similarly, Pete Davidson’s character asks for a bathroom key at a Bodega, and what he finds is nothing short of rat-infested, disgusting, and questionable sanitation. This is all through the eyes of the Bodega Cat, played by Kenan Thompson, who sends up Willy Wonka, Cats, and Rent.
And at last, we got the latest installment in the gross New York musical trilogy with the aptly titled Airport Sushi. Again, Pete Davidson’s character orders Airport Sushi, and the Phantom of La Guardia takes us on a parody of Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, Annie, Wicked, and Little Shop of Horrors. This one feels like a fitting end, complete with appearances by Jake Gyllenhaal and musical guest David Byrne sending up his own song with Plane to Nowhere.
If Mulaney hosts again, we’d love to see potentially the next installment. In the meantime, let’s look back at the trilogy, as well as the making of the one that started it all.