‘Saturday Night Live’ spoofs Chinese balloon incident

Source: The Hill | February 5, 2023 | Julia Mueller

Balloons similar to the one that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina this weekend flew over the U.S. at least three times during the Trump administration, according to a senior U.S. defense official.

“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.


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