'SNL' bungles NFL-themed cold open ahead of playoff games

GOSSIP & RUMORS: ‘SNL’ bungles NFL-themed cold open ahead of playoff games



It definitely wasn’t a touchdown.

“Saturday Night Live” bungled its NFL-themed cold open after proclaiming that football is the “only thing everyone still watches.”

Saturday’s start to the long-running sketch show featured cast member Andrew Dismukes as former Dallas Cowboys quarterback-turned-commentator Tony Romo and James Austin Johnson as broadcaster Jim Nantz.

“Hello everyone, and welcome to the AFC championship between the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs,” Johnson, 34, says as Nantz. “I’m Jim Nantz, alongside Tony Romo.”

“A quick shout-out to one of our sponsors,” Johnson continues. “Do you love to shake, rattle and roll? Because you’ll do all three on a Boeing 737 Max. Boeing — because that’s the sound it makes when the screws fly off.”

Saturday’s start to “Saturday Night Live” featured cast member Andrew Dismukes as former Dallas Cowboys quarterback-turned-commentator Tony Romo and James Austin Johnson as broadcaster Jim Nantz. YouTube/Saturday Night Live
Commentator James Brown was played by “SNL” vet Kenan Thompson, 45. YouTube/Saturday Night Live

The satirical version of the sports telecast also poked fun at how following the game — which Dismukes, 28, quipped will be “an all-out battle for the next three hours” — the real football season will be over.

After the perfunctory statement, Nantz reminds his colleague that they still have the Super Bowl, to which Romo responds: “That’s not real football. Super Bowl is for commercials and Usher and people who’ve never watched football asking how many points a touchdown is worth.”

“Today is the last real football day for just us guys,” he continues, earning a few chuckles from the live audience.

Unnerved by his colleague’s statement, Nantz sends it over to a much larger panel of CBS broadcasters who are just as distraught.

“I’m realizing that after this game ends, there’s just … nothing,” says Phil Simms (portrayed by Michael Longfellow).

“What are men supposed to do on Sundays now? Just go to their friends’ houses for no reason?” Bill Cowher (played by Mikey Day) adds.

Phil Simms was portrayed by Michael Longfellow. YouTube/Saturday Night Live
Bill Cowher was played by Mikey Day. YouTube/Saturday Night Live

“Without football, what are we going to talk about? I mean, does anyone have anything remotely interesting or insightful to say?” Devon Walker chimes in as Nate Burleson.

“This isn’t just about us,” says Day, 43. “America needs football. It’s the only thing everyone still watches.”

“Especially live,” jokes James Brown — played by “SNL” vet Kenan Thompson, 45 — while cracking a small smile. “There’s no other live TV that’s even remotely watchable.”

The group sang a parody rendition of Charlie Puth’s “See You Again” called “When There’s Football Again.” YouTube/Saturday Night Live

The segment then went off on a tangent where the commentators compared the loss of football to the “Barbie” team getting snubbed during the Oscar nominations.

“I understand that Margot Robbie got snubbed, I really do,” says Day. “But, they’re coming after Gosling? Ken was the first time I felt seen in a movie.”

Taylor Swift, who has commanded much of the attention this NFL season, also got a shout-out after Chiefs head coach Andy Reid (Molly Kearney) said that he was sad he would no longer get to hang out with the “Bad Blood” singer, 34, who is dating tight end Travis Kelce, 34.

Several social media users gave the opening a very cold reception. YouTube/Saturday Night Live

The segment ends with Walker stating that despite not having football, they “still have each other.”

“To quote ‘Fast and Furious’ 3 through 7,” Walker says, “It’s about family, and not counting my wife and three kids, you guys are the only family I got.”

The group then sings a parody rendition of Charlie Puth’s “See You Again” called “When There’s Football Again.”

Several social media users gave the opening a very cold reception.

“This was god awful,” one viewer wrote on X. “The writing this year has been abysmal.”

“The worst!! Could have been funny with Taylor Swift swaying out the window of their box. So many possibilities,” a second person added.

“This was one of the worst cold opens I’ve ever watched,” slammed a third person.



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