Bowen Yang is a delightfully cantankerous Chinese spy balloon in SNL’s cold open

Bowen Yang has practically made a career out of playing objects and insects (the iceberg that sank the Titanic, the spotted lantern fly) and this week he returned to the SNL stage as a particularly infamous inflatable. Last night’s cold open poked fun at the hullabaloo over the Chinese spy balloon shot down earlier this week by the Biden administration. Yang appears as the balloon, groaning about everything from his reported size (around three busses big) to being “Joe’s Osama.” It turns out that, like all of us, the balloon just wants to be understood (and watch Yellowstone).

Chloe Fineman reports on the saga as MSNBC’s host Katy Tur, interviewing a straight-laced Pentagon official played by SNL vet Kenan Thompson. This week’s host, Pedro Pascal, was noticeably absent, but appeared in a number of excellent sketches, including one that imagines HBO’s dystopian take on the Mari Kart franchise.

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