Brad Pitt fulfills Anthony Fauci's wish on an all-new 'Saturday Night Live At Home'

Ethan Alter
Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Brad Pitt’s not just an Oscar-winning actor and a viral weatherman: He’s also the world’s sexiest medical expert. The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star opened the second episode of the Saturday Night Live at Home as National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has emerged as America’s most trusted scientific mind during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The top-secret cameo fulfilled the wishes of the real Fauci, who told CNN earlier this month that Pitt would be his first choice to play him on SNL. It’s also appropriate casting considering the widely circulated Change.org petition nominating Fauci as People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive — a title that Pitt has held twice in the past 35 years.

Video: Dr. Fauci Says Brad Pitt Should Play Him on ‘SNL’

Believe it or not, this is technically the first time that Pitt has hosted SNL ... even though it wasn’t a conventional hosting gig since he filmed his cold open in his home instead of Studio 8H, just as Tom Hanks did on the first remotely produced show two weeks ago. (For the record, Pitt has only appeared on the show twice before: once in 1998 opposite host David Spade, and again in 2002 via a vocal cameo in an animated sketch.) Donning a gray wig and adopting Fauci’s thick Brooklyn accent, Pitt first thanked “all the older women in America who have sent me supportive, inspiring and sometimes graphic e-mails.” He then went on address the “misinformation” about the coronavirus disease that’s keeping much of the country indoors. Some of that misinformation can be traced back to the White House and President Donald Trump, who — as Pitt’s Fauci diplomatically noted — “has taken liberties with some of our guidelines.”

With that in mind, he proceeded to translate some of Trump’s recent medical musings, like the time he suggested that medical companies would have vaccines “relatively soon.” “‘Relatively soon’ is an interesting phrase,” Pitt said. “Relative to the entire history of Earth? Sure, the virus is going to come real fast. But if you were to tell a friend, ‘‘l’ll be home relatively soon and then showed up a year and a half later, your friend may be relatively pissed off.” As for Trump’s belief that the virus would disappear like a miracle? “Miracles shouldn’t be Plan A. Even Sully tried to land at the airport first.” How about the prevalence of those “beautiful” coronavirus tests? “I don’t know if I would describe the test as ‘beautiful’ unless your idea of beauty is having a cotton swap tickle your brain.”

And while the actual Fauci has mostly refrained from discussing Trump’s widely criticized comments about using disinfectants and sunlight to treat coronavirus, Pitt’s version didn’t feel the need to hold back. (The actor has publicly criticized the president in the past, most recently at the Oscars where he made a crowd-pleasing reference to Trump’s impeachment trial.) “I know I shouldn’t be touching my face, but ...,” he said after watching footage of that particular press conference, adding that his own firing may be imminent. “Until then, I’m going to be there putting out the facts for whoever is listening. And if I hear things like ‘the virus can be cured if everyone takes the Tide Pod challenge,’ I’ll be there to say: ‘Please don’t!’” Before signing off, Pitt got serious for a moment, directly addressing the person he was portraying. “Thank you for your calm and your clarity in this unnerving time. Thanks to the medical workers, first responders and their families for being on the front lines.”

Twitter loved that Pitt broke his streak of not hosting SNL to make Fauci’s dream come true ... even if some worried about what his appearance means for the good doctor’s future at the NIAID.

Pitt wasn’t the only big-name guest star the SNL crew landed for their second at-home episode. Adam Sandler joined Pete Davidson’s latest music video; Charles Barkley and DJ Khaled joined the long-awaited “What’s Up With That?” revival and Paul Rudd had a FaceTime reunion with his “cousin” played by Heidi Gardner. But after tonight, he’s the person we most want to see serve as the for-real host of SNL’s first show back in Studio 8H.

Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays at 11:30 on NBC.

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