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‘Saturday Night Live’ spoofs Chinese balloon incident

In this photo provided by Chad Fish, the remnants of a large balloon drift above the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of South Carolina, with a fighter jet and its contrail seen below it, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. The downing of the suspected Chinese spy balloon by a missile from an F-22 fighter jet created a spectacle over one of the state’s tourism hubs and drew crowds reacting with a mixture of bewildered gazing, distress and cheering. (Chad Fish via AP)

“Saturday Night Live” poked fun in its cold open at the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that was shot down by the U.S. military on Saturday afternoon after it spent days traveling through U.S. airspace. 

SNL actress Chloe Fineman portrayed MSNBC host Katy Tur in a mock interview with the downed balloon, played by Bowen Yang.

“Our long, national nightmare is over. We got the balloon,” Fineman as Tur said, later telling Yang that “people were worried they were being spied on” by the aircraft.  

“By me? A balloon? Everyone’s being surveilled constantly, but it’s always ‘shoot the balloon’ and never ‘unplug Alexa.’ If you care so much about your data, why do you all keep your bank passwords in the Notes app?” Yang asked, dressed as the balloon against a greenscreen rendering of the ocean. 

“Is everyone freaking out because I’m a Chinese balloon? Because where I come from, I’m just a balloon,” Yang said.

The surveillance balloon — said to be the size of three buses and traveling some 60,000 feet above ground — was shot down off the coast of South Carolina Saturday, once it was over water to avoid potential collisions as it crashed down.

Republicans criticized the president for not acting against the balloon sooner, noting rising tensions between the U.S. and China.

“The discovery of the massive surveillance balloon earlier this week inflamed already volatile U.S.-Chinese relations, and had many on the right calling the Biden administration’s response soft, including this tweet from Donald Trump Jr. saying: ‘If my Dad was president, there would be no balloons,” Fineman said in the faux newscast. 

Fineman read a second spoofed Tweet attributed to Trump ally Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.): “Look, it’s the real moon.” 

A senior U.S. defense official said Saturday that balloons similar to the one shot down by the Biden administration flew over the U.S. at least three times while Trump was in the White House.

Tags balloon Bowen Yang Bowen Yang Chinese surveillance balloon Chloe Fineman Katy Tur Katy Tur Marjorie Taylor Greene Saturday Night Live

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