Is there anything funnier than an unexpected corpse? Comedians have wrestled with the question since the dawn of time, or at least since Arsenic and Old Lace, but it wasn’t until 2016 that Saturday Night Live found an answer: The only thing funnier than an unexpected corpse is the unexpected corpse of a parasailing instructor gently drifting back and forth with the currents outside the window of an underwater honeymoon suite. And this week, the show announced another scientific breakthrough: The only thing funnier than the unexpected corpse of a parasailing instructor gently drifting back and forth with the currents outside the window of an underwater honeymoon suite is the unexpected corpses of a bunch of flash-frozen monkeys plus one extremely dead cosmonaut, floating around gracefully in the zero-gravity environment of the International Space Station:
It’s hard to say if Taran Killam back in 2016 or Kate McKinnon this week did a better job of playing a dead body, but one thing is clear: they’re fighting over third place, well behind the icicled monkey props featured in this sketch. Besides the monkeys, the other clear improvement in corpse-floating-outside-the-window technology is the addition of Steve Carell, who hosted this week. Carell has had an effortless command of the voice of bland, oblivious authority since his Daily Show days, and he puts it to great use here, particularly in the moment when he regains his composure after Snowpiercer-ing a monkey’s arm. In retrospect, it’s surprising that this is the first time Steve Carell has been asked to put a brave face on a space station full of dead monkeys for an audience of schoolchildren. Calling it now: It will not be the last.