Saturday Night Live returned with an all-new episode this weekend, with host Maya Rudolph and musical guest Jack Harlow. Perhaps the breakout sketch from this latest edition of the late night comedy tackles the hot keyword NFTs. What are they and what does it mean for the online art world? Pete Davidson broke out his Eminem inspired character to explain it all alongside Jack Harlow.
NFT stands for non-fungible token. At its most basic form, an NFT is an encrypted digital signature that allows for the buying and trading of digital art. Chris Redd joined Pete Davidson and Jack Harlow in breaking down this topic that has overtaken the art world in recent weeks. Though perhaps a little dated in its parody, the NFTs music video from Saturday Night Live is presented as an old school Eminem-inspired rap.
Pete Davidson is parodying the hit Eminem song 'Without Me', which hit MTV way back in 2002, almost twenty years ago. At a time when NFTs didn't even exist. Pete Davidson does climb into Eminem's iconic Robin costume to drive the comedy home. The sketch kicks off with Davidson interrogating U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin, attemtping to get a better grasp on the digital trend that has exploded in the online digital art world. Pete Davidson raps the following lyrics.
"What the hell's an NFT? / Apparently cryptocurrency / Everyone's making so much money / Can you please explain what's an NFT?"
This is all done in Pete Davidson's Slim Shady impersonation, which he first debuted around Christmas time three months ago with the music video Stu, which took on the classic Eminem track Stan. The video had Pete Davidson taking on the character of Stu, who writes a letter to Santa Claus begging for a PS5. At the time, many complained that the music video sketch was incredibly dated, since the original song came out over two decades ago. But the sketch also got a lot of love, enough so that Davidson is back in Eminem mode this week. His rap continues.
"It's like real-life Monopoly / Everyone's doing it, like Gronkowski / Can you please help me make an NFT?"
Chris Redd breaks out his Morpheus character from The Matrix, which is a little more timely as The Matrix 4 is arriving in theaters and HBO Max later this year. Even if Morpheus isn't in the sequel. Redd fires off a list of weird NFT collectibles that have hit online these past couple of months. There's a photo Chuck E. Cheese on the Supreme Court. And we get to see a twerking Thanos from Avengers: Endgame. Jack Harlow arrives on the scene as a Janitor, and does his best to describe NFTs for the audience.
"Non-fungible means that it's unique / There could only be one, like you and me / NFTs are insane / Built on the blockchain / Built on a digital ledger of transactions / It records information of what's happening / When it's minted, you can sell it as art / And this concludes my rapping part."
Jack Harlow is right. If SNL was so inclined, they could take his scene from the music video and sell it as an NFT. Quite a few artists have gotten into the movement. Kings of Leon are releasing their latest album with an NFT package. Grimes has also gotten in on the NFT craze selling her online artwork. Even Sophia the Robot sold an NFT of her self portrait. And Arrow star Katie Cassidy has auctioned off nudes as NFTs.
Maya Rudolph didn't have a big part in the NFTs music video, but she did break out her Beyonce impression for a Hot Ones sketch, and also tackled vaccines in the cold open. And of course, she returned with a full Kamala Harris sketch. You can check out the rest of the sketches below.