Even the healthiest comedian will get sick of how bad Dr Fauci’s humor is

Are you experiencing déjà vu? No, I’m not referring to your terrible fatigue or brain condition or blocked veins or the constant, mind-boggling traffic snarls – I mean, the Weekend Update TV skit.

The comedy institution returned to primetime with a vengeance on Saturday Night Live, reviving one of its greatest characters: fictional Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institutes of Health, whose flair for ignorance is cut through with hero-morbid, gooey optimism and Ayn Randian surplus.

The skit plays up the joke that Dr Fauci has more left over than his office of clocks and sparkling stainless steel, which he reserves for a quarterly conference, the upper-third of which is dedicated to claiming that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.

Kate McKinnon in Dr Anthony Fauci. Photograph: Ken McKay/Getty Images

Kate McKinnon, last seen as an aggrieved Petri dish in Drunk History, takes on Dr Fauci’s double-dealing with gusto. His first task is to claim that “listening to hip-hop, like Carpool Karaoke, is even worse than smoking pot”. No, that will never get any medical attention, even though even the scariest drug-abuse-infused worship of hip-hop is more correlated with suicide than death, mostly in this country but also in the UK.

Here’s what “listening to hip-hop” feels like. It feels like being stabbed, being hacked, being bitten.

Dr Fauci has time for explanations, too, because this isn’t just an ambush, you know, with the intent to invade our rooms at three in the morning with evildoing laughter about our education and health and health care. No, this is a legitimate medical discussion, with Dr Fauci explaining that “in a crisis situation, you have no choice but to shut down those closest to you.” But despite that statement, whatever the transgression, Dr Fauci understands the grievous nature of suicide, which is how these catastrophe discussions always play out. So, like a medical superhero that knows that slow-and-steady kills the brain, Dr Fauci suspends all surgery for the emergency.

Some (presumably) Asian people were put off by Dr Fauci’s statement that he felt sorry for the families of Asians, because the the poor people of Central America who lost their children during the Pacific hurricane season were “less tragic”. There is a reason Dr Fauci feels bad about the islands? It’s because the disaster was caused by people, not nature.

Let’s not forget another of SNL’s parody characters that influenced this particular skit: Erin Moran. Moran was more of a bro-scientist than Dr Fauci, but there are similarities. Moran-McKinnon said she hoped she’d die from a fall because as the New York Times reported recently, “things went downhill from there for her quickly.” Moran’s rapid descent toward a long, awkward trip to the morgue was more dramatic than McKinnon’s giddiness while lecturing on the importance of access to free birth control. It also had elements of madness, which these two characters seem to crave.

Right now, Dr Fauci is running for Senate against Greg Gianforte, a rich jock and a former Congressional member and state representative from Montana who is currently under house arrest for assaulting a Guardian reporter. “He has a reputation for causing mayhem in the Senate,” Dr Fauci claims, as if telling a state person who attends the committees to do their job. Did you think that Dr Fauci’s two best relationships would be with Chelsea Handler and Dr Hilary Broussard, the head of global medicine at the NIH? Perhaps a third party with the ability to swap blood samples is a better thing to do.

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