Predictions of Saturday Night Live's demise could be premature. Last night's show did something it hasn't in ages -- made me howl with laughter.
Granted, I had to be patient. It wasn't until the third bit, after the cold open with Alec Baldwin again impersonating President-elect Trump as clueless and boorish, followed by host and former cast member Kristen Wiig and a huge cast of supporting players presenting a musical history lesson on Thanksgiving that was little more than a jab at "fake news" that liberals have deemed one of many convenient scapegoats for Hillary Clinton's inexplicable loss.
And then, it happened -- a sketch that should earn a spot in SNL's best-of archives once the show has run its course. After ominous footage was shown of civil unrest in the wake of Trump's "unthinkable" win, SNL cast members Kyle Mooney and Sasheer Zamata described a magical place they called "The Bubble" --
MOONEY: What if there was a place where the unthinkable didn't happen and life could continue for progressive Americans just as before.
ZAMATA: Now there is.
NARRATOR: Welcome -- to The Bubble.
ZAMATA: Coming in January 2017, The Bubble is a planned community of like-minded free thinkers -- and no one else.
MOONEY: So if you're an open-minded person, come here and close yourself in.
ZAMATA: In here, it's as if the election never happened.
Regardless of what happens elsewhere in America, denizens of The Bubble will enjoy "things everybody loves -- like hybrid cars, used bookstores, and small farms with the rawest milk you've ever tasted," bought with Bubble currency adorned with a scowling visage of Bernie Sanders.
Bubble residents will remain "fully connected" via high-speed Internet to "only the good sites" -- such as Huffington Post, Daily Kos, fascinating Netflix documentaries about sushi rice, and the "explosive comedy" of McSweeney's.
MOONEY: The Bubble is a diverse community and safe space for everyone. We don't see color here, but we celebrate it. (points to button on lapel with black fist raised in anger. A safety pin adorns his other lapel.)
ZAMATA: And unlike the rest of America, anybody's welcome to join us. One-bedroom apartments start at $1.9 million. Planning is underway to give you everything you need.
MOONEY: Except police or firemen -- 'cause we haven't found any who'd agree to live here.
This sublime utopia already exists, we're told at the end of the pitch -- "It's Brooklyn with a bubble on it." Looks a lot like San Francisco and Cambridge too.
And this marks the second week in a row that SNL has mocked liberals' reaction to the election. Could it be, as Vanity Fair's Joanna Robinson suggests, that with Hillary Clinton now "out of the equation", SNL can finally cut loose?
Another possibility comes to mind -- longtime producer Lorne Michaels and his crew may have realized that the left's unhinged hysteria over Trump's victory, and the fertile ground for comedy it offers, is much too tempting to ignore for anyone in the business of making others laugh.