Watch the “SNL” segment on Kanye
Kanye West stirred up a boatload of controversy recently in much the same way President Donald Trump often does: with a series of tweets that can be unkindly characterized as deeply unsettling.
Add in his off-the-wall TMZ interview, in which he said that slavery was a choice, his new ‘‘song’’ that includes the couplet ‘‘poop-di-scoopty/scoopty-whoop’’ and his newfound adoration for the president, and it was pretty much guaranteed that ‘‘Saturday Night Live’’ was going to do something about his erratic and troublesome behavior.
That something did not disappoint. Rather than focus on Kanye himself, the show took aim at the rest of us: everyone who obsessively reads, retweets, thinks about and debates his tweets.
The prerecorded bit was called ‘‘A Kanye Place.’’ As the title suggests, it was a spoof on the hit horror film ‘‘A Quiet Place.’’
The movie follows a family living in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by monsters that will attack them if they make any noises. The key, then, is to be completely silent (which led to a unique film-going experience that had some viewers more focused on the crinkle of candy wrappers than the action on screen).
The sketch takes the same approach: Five friends - played by Donald Glover, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Beck Bennett and Aidy Bryant - sneak silently along a cornfield.
‘‘I’m so scared,’’ Strong says, only to be quickly shushed by Bennett, who reminds her, ‘‘Don’t let the monsters hear us.’’
Trailing behind them, Glover fiddles on his iPhone. Suddenly, his eyes spring open.
‘‘You guys,’’ he whispers loudly. ‘‘Kanye just tweeted.’’
‘‘David, shh!’’ Bryant spits back.
That doesn’t stop him though.
‘‘He said he would have voted for Trump,’’ Glover whisper-shouts.
Strong’s interest is piqued, but Thompson reminds everyone that the monsters can’t see, but can hear, the group. And if they want to stay alive, they’d better keep their traps shut and ‘‘not talk unless it’s absolutely necessary.’’
The group seems to heed his advice, for a moment. But then Kanye tweets again, causing Glover’s eyes to again go wide as saucers.
‘‘Kanye’s got the hat and everything. Trump signed it. He signed the hat y’all!’’ Glover whispers, referring to this real-life tweet:
The careful Thompson can’t take it anymore.
‘‘OH, COME ON KANYE!’’ he shouts, only to immediately be yanked off-screen by an unseen monster and, presumably, eaten.
Then the title sequence runs, before the action resumes with the group speaking in sign language.
‘‘Don’t make a sound,’’ Bennett signs.
Glover’s eyes again go wide.
‘‘Trump tweeted Kanye,’’ he signs and whispers. Then the sketch gets political.
‘‘We don’t care,’’ Bennett signs. ‘‘Shut up.’’
Bryant, though, begins talking.
‘‘Kanye is a distraction,’’ she says. ‘‘We should only talk about what’s important ...’’
‘‘Like how to survive the monsters,’’ Bennett interjects.
‘‘And then, I guess, also, like, the midterms. Because, what’s happening with that?’’ Bryant says, referring to this year’s congressional midterm elections.
That doesn’t derail Glover though, who notices that Kanye tweeted a photo of himself at model Chrissy Teigen and her husband John Legend’s house. Strong becomes interested, wondering why he’s there and what she might have cooked. (The answer is gumbo.)
‘‘Why are we even talking about this?’’ a distressed Bryant asks.
Then, Glover notices another guest: actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
‘‘FROM MODERN FRICKIN’ FAMILY?’’ Strong explodes, only to join Thompson as monster chow.
The three remaining friends sit there stunned for a second. It seems as if they might actually turn their collective focus to the monsters. Nah. Instead, they start arguing about Kanye’s intentions with these tweets - you know, much like everyone (this writer included) on the internet has been doing for the past few weeks.
Glover then notices that Kanye dropped a new track, ‘‘Lift Yourself.’’ But they can’t listen without being eaten by the monsters. Oh, wait - Glover has ear buds. As he pulls them out, Bryant accidentally starts the song. And then, the real, actual song released by Kanye West starts playing.
‘‘Whoop-di-scoop-di-poop/Poop-di-scoopty,’’ Kanye raps, before an irate Bennett grabs the phone and throws it among the cornstalks.
‘‘You idiots,’’ he says.
‘‘Did he just say ‘poopity scoop?’ ‘‘ Bryant says.
‘‘It doesn’t matter,’’ an increasingly frustrated Bennett whispers back. ‘‘None of this matters.’’
‘‘I need to know if he said ‘poopity scoop,’’’ Bryant replies, before running headlong into the cornfield (where, again, monsters are hiding). She finds the phone, and her worst fears are confirmed. Just before she’s eaten by a monster, she shouts, ‘‘HE SAID ‘POOPITY SCOOP!’ ‘‘
Nevertheless, Bennett persists. He continues to try protecting himself and Glover from the monsters by pouring white sand down at their feet. A string of red lights pops on.
‘‘Oh, no. The red lights. It’s an emergency,’’ he whispers.
Glover, still staring at his phone, replies: ‘‘I know. Kanye was just on TMZ, and he said slavery was a choice.’’
Bennett can’t not care any longer.
‘‘NOOOOOOO!’’ he screams, and - you guessed it - is eaten by a monster.
Glover finally reaches a safe house complete with televisions showing the feed from security cameras around the farmhouse. He ignores these, though, and changes the channel to watch the TMZ interview. Then he tosses on ‘‘Lift Youself’’ and begins bobbing his head to the music.
‘‘Hmm, it kinda grows on you,’’ are his last words before a monster jumps in the frame and eats him.
The sketch’s point - that we care too much about what Kanye is up to - was reinforced later in the show on ‘‘Weekend Update.’’ In the middle of his routine of making jokes about the news, a graphic showing Kanye West and the quote ‘‘slavery was a choice’’ pops up beside co-anchor Michael Che’s head.
Che glances up at it, grimaces and shakes his head.
‘‘Pass,’’ he, perhaps wisely, says.