TV might be filled with reboots at the current moment, like “Roseanne” and “Will and Grace,” but “SNL” imagined a pretty compelling reason to skip a few.
On a Hollywood info show parody called “Hollywood Update,” Cecily Strong played a host interviewing the creator of the fictional 1980s sitcom “Switcheroo,” played by host John Mulaney. As Mulaney explained, the show is getting a reboot, even though the subject matter means it’s probably not a great idea.
During the interview, Mulaney showed a clip of the theme song and opening credits of “Switcheroo,” revealing the show’s premise. In it, a dad, played by Beck Bennett, switches bodies with his son and hijinks ensue, as the song explains, but there’s a twist.
“Dad goes to school, son goes to work, and the son has sex with the mom,” the song explains.
The sketch cuts back to a visibly disturbed Strong, as she tries to continue the interview with Mulaney.
“The show was not popular,” Strong said. “Why do you think that is?”
“I think viewers expected us to focus on a different aspect of the switcheroo, you know?” Mulaney said. “Perhaps seeing the son trying to work at the dad’s office as an astronaut, or the dad trying to make the son’s football team. Instead we focused exclusively on the sexual ramifications of the switcheroo.”
Strong asked if, like other modern reboots of past shows, Mulaney’s reboot of “Switcheroo” would acknowledge current politics.
“We felt we had to,” Mulaney said. “Yes, the opening shot is a closeup of a newspaper that says ‘Trump is president,’ and then we widen out and we’re, like, ‘Forget all that,’ and then the mom switcheroos with the dog, and I don’t have to tell you what happens next.”
Mulaney explained that not everyone was available from the original cast for the reboot. “Little Andy Cunanan, who played the son, he’s left the business,” he said, with the gag seemingly going over most of the audience’s head. The joke referenced spree killer Andrew Cunanan, best known for murdering famed clothing designer Gianni Versace in 1997. Cunanan was recently the subject of the second season of the FX series “American Crime Story.” Mulaney joked that many in the audience might have had to Google.
The pair discussed where the show was filming For legal reasons, apparently stemming from its subject matter, Strong said it couldn’t be shot in St. Louis, where it takes place. Mulaney said he’d been thrown out of Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, adding that it was shot in a studio on “100 Switcheroo Avenue, Jonestown, Guyana.”
Jonestown was a settlement in Guyana established by the People’s Temple cult. Its leader, Jim Jones, infamously forced hundreds of his followers to kill themselves in 1978 by drinking poisoned Kool-Aid and had many others murdered. More than 900 people died in the Jonestown Massacre. Presumably, the location wouldn’t have any laws against the sexual subject matter of “Switcheroo.”