Kate McKinnon shows just how hilariously awkward post-lockdown flirting is going to be

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Dennis Perkins
·2 min read
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Kate McKinnon, Nick Jonas
Kate McKinnon, Nick Jonas

In the last spot of last night’s Nick Jonas-hosted Saturday Night Live—the place traditionally of the venerable series’ best and worst sketches—Kate McKinnon unexpectedly stole an adorable, mewling kitten’s milk, and that wasn’t even the best part. A funny approximation of what social interaction is going to look like after more than a year of locked-down, stressed-out isolation and loneliness, the sketch saw McKinnon’s just-sprung bar patron being hit on by Jonas’ smooth talker. And, yes, he’s initially he not looking at her, but a gory painting of a lion eating a guy in the distance, as his player’s game is only slightly askew thanks to not having spoken to a live soul since anyone can remember.

But that’s okay, as McKinnon’s into-it flirter can only come up with the killer opening line, “There are mites in your pillows. And if you sleep with your mouth open, they’ll go right in there.” Okay, a little rusty, to be sure, but at least the pair of post-pandemic lovers (file the sketch under “speculative fiction”) are equally flummoxed as to what goes where, conversationally speaking, in a sketch that would likely have been a classic if all-star McKinnon had a more capable leading man than the eager but over-his-head Jonas.

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As is the case with the best ten-to-one sketches, the piece seemed mined from a writer’s all-nighter giggle-fits, with random asides about ex-con McKinnon’s seemingly unfinished “LOVE” and “HATE” knuckle tattoos (“No, I just love hats,” she explains), Jonas magically producing that live kitten in a display of what he’s been working on in quarantine (McKinnon steals its milk as her next cocktail), and the pair sharing romantic dance to piano man (“My name is Guy Piano”) Andrew Dismukes’s inexplicable choice of “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” for their big moment. And, sure, nobody can remember a word from any song urging us to all gather together in huge groups and lustily cheer together, as that all seems like tales from another lifetime. But the two clumsy but gamely optimistic lovebirds give it a go anyway, their mutually cabin-feverish, contact-starved brains apparently having settled upon the song’s same, undeniably wrong lyrics. With Spring Training actually starting up with games happening on Sunday and everything, let’s all remember to sing out, loud and free, “And it’s one, two, three-four-five-six, that’s how numbers work!”