Saturday Night Live‘s cold open on May 7 tackled everything from the Supreme Court document leak signaling that Roe v. Wade would be overturned to the Amber Heard and Johnny Depp defamation trial.
The 13th century England sketch starred host Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Dismukes, Alex Moffat, Kate McKinnon, Chris Redd and Cecily Strong.
“It’s just while I was cleaning the hole on the side of the castle where we poop and then it falls through the sky into a hole of human feces, I started to think about abortion,” Cumberbatch said. “Don’t you think we ought to make a law against that?”
“You mean like to know we have against pointy shoes?” Dismukes asked. “Yes, exactly something fair and reasonable like those laws,” Cumberbatch replied.
The cold open further addressed the ramifications of a post-Roe world by pointing to how — instead of banning abortion in all of England — they could ban it in certain parts of the country so that the “concubine” could go elsewhere to get their abortions.
Strong joined the sketch as a servant of the “almost child-bearing age of 12,” to point out the obvious.
“Shouldn’t women have the right to choose since having a baby means like a 50 percent chance of dying?” Strong asked.
“That’s why we’re also offering maternity leave,” Cumberbatch said. “When you’re done with 20 years of continuous maternity, you can leave.”
“Shouldn’t we at least make exceptions in cases of rape or incest?” Dismukes asked, with a whiny reply from Moffat, who said, “But those are the only kinds of sex.”
Strong went on to ask why they care about this issue, instead of the fact that most of the people in the town can’t read or write, or that everyone’s dying from an ongoing plague.
“Oh, you think just ’cause I have active plague, I need to wear a mask?” Dismukes asked, adding, “It’s my body, my choice.”
Cumberbatch then said it was clear to him that they’ve reached the limit of human knowledge with their haircuts and “trusting the Catholic church with our money and children.” Moffat chimed in, saying they’ve also discovered birth control.
A profound moment of moral clarity from 13th century England pic.twitter.com/loZfY5sb40
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) May 8, 2022
“You can’t get pregnant as long as when the man ejaculates he whispers, ‘Just kidding,’” he said. Dismukes added, “There’s always Plan B — letting 1,000 bees sting you.”
When they put it to a vote, Cumberbatch, Dismukes and Moffat agree to make abortion illegal, and Redd says he’s against it before joking about how he can’t vote.
McKinnon then made an appearance as a witch, saying that she ate “weird mushrooms in a pile of cow dung” that allows her to see the future.
“Worry not, dear girl,” McKinnon told Strong. “These barbaric laws will someday be overturned by something called progress. And then, after about 50 years after the progress, they’ll be like, ‘Maybe we should undo the progress.’ I don’t know why my visions from that time are very confusing. Seems like all of the power comes from a place called Florida. And if you think our customs are weird, you should watch the trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.”
McKinnon ended her bit by saying no matter how many choices are taken away from women, they can always keep fighting.
Arcade Fire served as the musical guest.