“Saturday Night Live” host Vince Vaughn seemed to favor bizarre sketches (“How about a scene where a rich man comes down from a hill and dances with all the boys at the prom?” “What if there was a play where all the actors had short-term memory loss?”) over topical, but last night’s episode did feature a Fred Armisen-led current events sketch that touched on that particular cast member’s strengths: musical parody, crude British accents and subverting the stereotype of the angry young man character.
In the week since Margaret Thatcher passed away, much has been written about the pop culture created in angry response to her politics, which was a topic “SNL” turned on its head. In “History of Punk,” we see a look back at a fictional band called Ian Rubbish and the Bizzaros, a Sex Pistols-type punk band (Steve Jones of the actual Sex Pistols makes a cameo) who made their name writing songs decrying the police and the queen. But when it comes to prime minister Margaret Thatcher, Ian Rubbish writes lyrics like “Hey Maggie Thatcher/You’re all right. Thanks to you I sleep at night.” (Many of the fake songs turn out to be unexpectedly catchy.) The sketch, which has notes of "This Is Spinal Tap," features footage of the Bizzaros on a 1979 talk show with Ian ordering his bandmates to leave the country if they feel so strongly against their prime minster. The scene ends on a strangely sweet note as a sentimental Rubbish looks back on his love for Thatcher.