Saturday Night Live kicked off their 45th (how??) season last night with host Woody Harrelson, musical guest Billie Eilish, and some amusing, topical material like a perfect parody trailer for the new Downton Abbey movie. The feature-length film based on the Downton Abbey TV series is currently in theaters, making a killing both financially and critically, so it makes sense that it would get pegged from some of the season premiere’s best jokes.
Taking part in the Downton Abbey sketch were regular cast members Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, Alex Moffat, Mikey Day, and the newest cast members, Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang. The sketch pokes fun at the film’s central premise: a royal visit happening a year out sends the staff as well as the Crawley family into a cleaning tizzy.
While every sketch participant is doing their best impression of various Downton character (Kate McKinnon wins, naturally, for her killer take on Maggie Smith), it’s the fake reviews inserted into the trailer which really make this parody trailer a thing of beauty. Some of the best ones include: “‘I absolutely love this film,’ say all moms,” and “Feels like watching the sun set on white people as a whole.”
In a bid to remain as topical as possible, the SNL/Downton trailer throws one last curveball in the final shot. As Moffat and Strong’s Downton characters greet the royals, the screen cuts to a car showing the Joker title. A voice can be heard saying, “This has been an ad for Joker. It’s not perfect, but at least stuff happens. Classic.