If you stuck around only for the “Saturday Night Live” cold open, you missed what Vanity Fair calls “the best joke of the night” — in which guest host Jimmy Fallon assumes the role of a certain lovelorn airplane cop.
Fallon is out of sight when the skit opens in an apartment, where a couple (Beck Bennett and Cecily Strong as Jen) are snuggling under a blanket on a rainy night.
They’re interrupted mid-kiss by a knock on the door. It’s Jen’s ex, Doug, played by Fallon. He has brought flowers and a boombox. Oh no.
“I just needed to see you. I want you back,” Doug says. “You have a guy over? We just broke up like five days ago.”
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Jen’s not apologetic. “You know what you did,” she says.
“I’m sorry, I messed up,” Doug says. “But if you give me another chance, I promise: I’ll love you truly, madly, deeply.”
That’s the title of a Savage Garden song from 1997. Doug removes his overcoat to reveal that he’s wearing a white dinner jacket over a patterned T-shirt. Cue the music.
Doug sings “Truly Madly Deeply” in a nasal voice, dead-eyed, staring at Jen, who can only stand there in semi-paralysis as two identically dressed backup singers walk through the door and Doug rips off his jacket to reveal that the pattern on his T-shirt is Jen’s face.
Her horror deepens as Doug reaches into his back pocket, beginning to kneel.
“So what do you say, Jen?” he says, holding a ring. “I know I made one of the biggest mistakes a person could make. I’m asking you to take me back. Forever.”
Finally, Jen ends it.
“No, Doug!” she shouts. “You dragged a man off a plane this week!”
That’s the bit Vanity Fair liked. But there’s a second punchline after Doug — shown as the suspended security officer who violently deplaned a United passenger in Chicago — accepts defeat and leaves Jen to her new romance.
Jen and her new boyfriend cuddle back up on the couch. “I’m so sorry about him,” Jen says of her ex. “Anyway, back to us. Tell me about you.”
Keen-eyed “SNL” fans may remember that last week Bennett played the creative genius behind a certain soda ad that was being mocked by pretty much everyone until the United fiasco interrupted.
Call back. “I just directed this huge Pepsi commercial,” Jen’s new boyfriend tells her.
Jen screams. The end.