During one of the comedy show’s sketches, Sarah Sherman appeared as SAG president Fran Drescher to stop children from trick-or-treating in costumes from struck movies and TV shows.
“I’m here to teach you how to do Halloween during a strike,” Sherman’s Drescher said to a couple, played by Ego Nwodim and host Nate Bargatze, handing out candy to children. “Because that would be promoting the companies we’re striking against which makes all of these children a bunch of adorable scab. Run home and change kids before it’s too late.”
Last week, the performers’ union issued guidelines for striking actors ahead of Halloweekend, which prohibits actors from dressing up as popular characters from struck content, such as Barbie and Wednesday Addams, and then posting photos on social media.
But Sherman’s Drescher had some ideas for costumes that wouldn’t break the rules, including “Harry Potter as described only in the book” or “minor characters from the Bible who have not appeared in any film adaptation.”
When Bargatze’s character proceeded to say that the children don’t look happy, Sherman’s Drescher responded, “I know. It’s scary what the movie studios are doing to our children, isn’t it? That’s why we’ve been picketing for 100 days.”
Sherman’s Drescher continued to share additional costume ideas, adding, “This year you can’t be Yoda, but you can be Hoda [Kotb, co-anchor of the Today show].”
She also explained how many Halloween costumes can be strike-friendly with a few adjustments.
“Say you’re dressed as Wolverine, just drop the claws and voilà, now you’re any gay guy over 50,” Sherman’s Drescher said. “Say you’re dressed as Mario. All you have to do is put on a chef’s hat and now you’re the guy from the pizza box.”
When one of the children later asked how they could “understand something so complicated” since they’re just a little kid, Sherman’s Drescher went on to compare SAG-AFTRA’s negotiations with Hollywood studios to trick-or-treating.
“I can explain in terms even a drunk child can understand,” Sherman’s Drescher said. “Negotiating with the studios is a lot like trick-or-treating. You know how you go to the biggest house on the block and all the lights are off and they’re pretending they’re not home? But you can see them through the window eating Kit Kat bars, dozens of Kit Kat bars, billions of Kit Kat bars, record numbers of Kit Kat bars. All us actors are saying is break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar.”
The actors’ union has been on strike since July 14 when contract negotiations initially faltered with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. This week, SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP resumed talks over a new three-year pact.
Earlier, during the SNL cold open, President Joe Biden, played by Mikey Day, was hanging up Halloween decorations in the Oval Office, while chatting about how the world is now a scary place, including “wars, shootings, climate change, everything in the new Britney [Spears] book [The Woman in Me].”
Day’s Biden also had a few guests stop by from newly-elected Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, played by Michael Longfellow, to Christopher Walken, who portrayed “The Spirit of Halloween, the Ghost of All Hallows’ Past.”
On Saturday, comedian Bargatze made his hosting debut on the sketch comedy show, with musical guests, Foo Fighters.