"Saturday Night Live" took sides in the culture wars between Democrats and Republicans when it mocked Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, for picking a fight with "Sesame Street" character Big Bird, a fictional 6-year-old.
The 8-foot, 2-inch Muppet tweeted Nov. 6 that he got vaccinated and that he's been getting vaccinations, like most children in the U.S., since he was a "little bird." The character's message came four days after the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, signed off on allowing Pfizer-BioNTech’s lower-dose Covid vaccine to be available to children 5 to 11.
On "SNL," Aidy Bryant's version of the senator hosted a show, "Cruz Street," on the imaginary Newsmax Kids channel.
"For 50 years I stood by as 'Sesame Street' taught our children dangerous ideas like numbers and kindness," the character said. "But when Big Bird told children to get vaccinated against a deadly disease, I said enough, and I created my own 'Sesame Street' called 'Cruz Street.'"
The show's vision of "Cruz Street" included a contemporary right-wing agenda.
"It’s a gated community where kids are safe from the woke government," Cruz said.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. (Cecily Strong), appeared on the Newsmax Kids show holding a semiautomatic rifle she described as an AR-15.
"Today’s episode is brought to you by Q," she said. "Not the letter, the man."
"Cruz Street" also had its own version of Big Bird (Kyle Mooney), a character who wasn't sold on the efficacy of vaccination. He said that a week after he got a shot, "I don't feel so good," adding: "My feathers fell out. Maybe the vaccine gave me Covid."
"Yes, yes," Cruz said. "That sounds correct."
The senator introduced the program's resident medical expert, Joe Rogan, the podcast host who in the spring walked back his remarks after having falsely claimed that healthy adults don't need to be vaccinated. Since then, he has tested positive for Covid-19 and has said he has been taking a widely discredited treatment, ivermectin, generally used to treat or prevent parasites in animals like horses.
Rogan (Pete Davidson) immediately recommended the supplement zinc, the psychoactive brew ayahuasca and "some horse medicine" to fend off Covid-19.
"I used to host 'Fear Factor,'" he said, "And now doctors fear me."
Not long after introducing his own version of Bert and Ernie (Alex Moffatt and Mikey Day) as "two of the Proud Boys," Cruz appeared a little uneasy when Bert announced, "We got engaged!"
"Cruz Street" also had its own Oscar the Grouch, played by Chris Redd, a character that represented the worst of America in the senator's eyes.
"Papa Joe Biden gave me so many stimulus I decided to quit working and live in this trash can," Oscar said. "I used your tax money on drugs and pornography."
"All Democrats are him," Cruz said.
The news segment "Weekend Update" took a look at the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, who was 17 when he opened fire in the amid unrest and demonstrations in the summer of 2020 sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
On Wednesday, Rittenhouse sobbed on the witness stand and said he was being attacked and had no choice but to fatally shoot two men and wound a third.
Segment co-host Michael Che said, "Man, is there a White Tears Law School that I don’t know about?"
"I noticed that every time y’all get in trouble you just start crying," he said. "And everything just works out for you, whether you’re trying to beat a murder charge or trying to be a Supreme Court justice."
Jonathan Majors hosted, and Taylor Swift was the night's musical guest.