Saturday Night Live celebrated Halloween over the weekend with a sketch that took aim at the recent message sent out by SAG-AFTRA leadership asking members not to dress up like movie or TV characters during the ongoing strike.
In a mid-show sketch, host Nate Bargartze and castmember Ego Nwodim played a couple handing out candy to a group of trick-or-treaters dressed like Spider-Man, Black Panther and Barbie.
“Wait! You’re about to make a terrible mistake!” Fran Drescher (played by Sarah Sherman) declared. “I’m Fran Drescher, SAG President! … I’m here to teach you how to do Halloween during a strike.”
“Oh, that’s right. Since the actors are on strike, the guild asked members not to wear costumes based on movie or TV characters,” Nwodim explained, summing up the whole drama succinctly.
“Exactly! Because then we would be promoting the companies we’re striking against, which makes all of these children a bunch of adorable scabs,” Sherman’s Drescher exclaimed. “Run home and change, kids, before it’s too late!”
Instead of dressing up like characters that are the intellectual property of the studios and production companies SAG is striking against, Drescher had some suggestions for alternative costume possibilities.
“There are many great characters you can still be for Halloween. For example, Harry Potter as described only in the book,” Drescher suggested. “Or how about minor characters from the bible, who have not appeared in any film adaptation.”
A young extra in a shepherd’s cloak stepped up to the house and explained his costume, sharing, “I’m Zoheth, son of Ishi who beget Ben Zoheth.”
“See? Who needs Iron Man when you have Zoheth, son of Ishi who beget Ben Zoheth?” Drescher said with glee.
As for people who bought their costumes before the costume memo was released, Drescher had some suggestions there as well.
“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,” she explained, before breaking down the whole argument that SAG-AFTRA have been making, in terms even a kid could comprehend.
“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,” Drescher said. “All us actors are saying is ‘Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar.”
After the Halloween costume mandates were first announced, several outspoken SAG Members expressed their frustration at what they felt was unnecessary rules. Among those who spoke out was This Is Us star Mandy Moore.
“Is this a joke?” Moore wrote on her Instagram story. “Come on @sagaftra. This is what’s important? We’re asking you to negotiate in good faith on our behalf. So many folks across every aspect of this industry have been sacrificing mightily for months. Get back to the table and get a fair deal so everyone can get back to work. Please and thank you.”
Saturday Night Live airs live, coast-to-coast, at 11:30 p.m. ET, 8:30 p.m. PT, on NBC.