Last night's 46th season premiere of Saturday Night Live included a reference to Bane in one of its sketches. The name-drop came during a music video titled "Bottom of Your Face." A trio of rappers (Kenan Thompson, Chris Redd, and Pete Davidson) sing about wanting to see their girlfriends' (Ego Nwodim, Megan Thee Stallion) faces. The episode's host, Chris Rock, even gets a verse in during the song. The reference comes about 50 seconds into the video. One of the rappers compares his mask-wearing girlfriend to the DC Comics comics supervillain Bane, played by Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises.
The continuing spread of COVID-19 inspired the song. The pandemic was a recurring topic for Saturday Night Live, both in the episode's material and behind-the-scenes. The episode was a return to normalcy for viewers after the last SNL season ended with several remotely produced episodes, SNL returned to Studio 8h for its premiere and again had a live studio audience. Audience members were tested for COVID-19 and required to wear masks. SNL requires COVID-19 tests before admission into dress rehearsals and live shows. According to the Saturday Night Live ticket site, "This is a self-administered lower nasal antigen test with results yielded before the show." There are also be temperature tests for anyone checking in at 30 Rock.
Audience members also have to answer questions ahead of admission. These include, "Are you exhibiting any symptoms related to COVID-19?" "Have you exhibited any symptoms to COVID-19 in the last 14 days?" and "Have you been in close contact with anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, or anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, within the past 14 days?"
Anyone with a temperature 100.4 or higher will not be permitted to be a part of the audience. Others in their party may also be given the same treatment. "A positive COVID-19 test for any member of your group will result in the entire group not being granted admission." That group can include up to 8 people from the purchaser's "social bubble." Despite these restrictions, tickets for the premiere sold out.
In September, Saturday Night Live star Kyle Mooney discussed expectations for the show's return to Studio 8h. “I think we’re gonna try to do as close to the real thing as we can, in a safe way, so I think that means tests, and all that comes with it. I think they’re still figuring it out, and I think there’s a lot to figure out, but they have us all in their best interest. I’m assuming I’ll get to see everybody.”
Saturday Night Live airs Saturday at 11:30 pm ET on NBC. Bill Burr will host the October 10th episode with musical guest Morgan Wallen. Issa Rae hosts the October 17th episode with musical guest Justin Bieber.