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'SNL' can only laugh at America's vaccination quandary

Kate McKinnon's Dr. Fauci said, "Some experts feared the omicron variant would be vaccine resistant, kind of like, I don’t know, 40 percent of Americans."

"Saturday Night Live" wants America to get vaccinated, and it thinks a few laughs might help.

As it presented its penultimate show of 2021 on Saturday, the comedy showcase opened with a recurring sketch, "A holiday message from Dr. Anthony Fauci," which includes amateur thespians from the "CDC Players" acting out scenes from the pandemic era.

With Kate McKinnon as Fauci, the White House's chief medical adviser, he noted that Americans probably have a lot of concerns about the resilience of Covid-19 two years after it was first discovered.

"As you probably heard," Fauci said, "there's an omicron wave sweeping the globe. Some experts feared the omicron variant would be vaccine resistant, kind of like, I don’t know, 40 percent of Americans."

With Covid-19 in the rise again, he said, people will naturally ask, "Can I still use this as an excuse to still get out of stuff? I would like to never work again."

He invited the CDC Players to act out some of those pandemic concerns, beginning with a scene called, "going to a restaurant" in which a prospective diner said he lost his vaccination card but still wants to "eat Christmas dinner" at the fictional establishment.

A restaurant worker, played by Heidi Gardner, quickly responded, "You are banished from society. Have fun living in the woods."

Fauci said, "That's not right. You can get a replacement card. I think."

Another CDC Players sketch was called, "visiting Santa at the mall."

Santa, played by Kyle Mooney, said to a shopper, played by Melissa Villaseñor, "Sorry, you can't sit on my lap."

Santa retold a false story by hip-hop star Nicki Minaj, which concluded that the Covid-19 vaccine can make men impotent. He didn't want to add to the possibility.

"That's a conspiracy theory," Fauci said.

Cecily Strong as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Chloe Fineman as Rep. Lauren Boebert appear in the opening of 'Saturday Night Live' on Dec. 11, 2021.NBC

"Christmas Truths" featured U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, and Lauren Boebert, R-Colorado, both carrying guns.

Greene, played by Cecily Strong, decried those who pushed for shutdowns, mass vaccination, and ultimately, a country that could be free of the pandemic.

"If that’s not communism then I might not know what communism is," she said.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, appeared. Played by Aidy Bryant, he said he reportedly did not wear a face mask to former Sen. Bob Dole's funeral out of spite, because Dole once said nobody likes Cruz.

"Just imagine looking down at your own funeral and the only face you can see is mine," Cruz said.

News segment "Weekend Update" hit the major headlines, with co-host Colin Jost noting that actor Jussie Smollett was found guilty of falsely reporting that he was the victim of a hate-fueled attack in Chicago.

"On Thursday, a Chicago jury declared Jussie Smollett is really bad at acting," Jost said. "It’s the worst-staged hate crime since my all-Christian production of 'Fiddler on the Roof.'"

Fellow host Michael Che took aim at Fox News after the broadcaster's Christmas tree outside its New York City newsroom was allegedly set ablaze by a man with no known address early Wednesday.

He quoted Fox News personality Ainsley Earhardt who said of the allegation, "This Scrooge is not going to get away with it."

"Nothing has ever explained Fox News better than a rich white lady calling a homeless man Scrooge," Che said.