Saturday Night Live poked fun at ‘perverts in Central Park’ and annoying charity fundraisers as it marked the first week of spring in its latest cold open. 

After New York was hit with a sweltering heat wave, the SNL cast spoofed the iconic park’s eclectic traits in a marked shift from its usual political commentary. 

The skit show’s opener saw regular Bowen Yang act as a satirical red carpet-style host to introduce the return of the ‘freaks, crazies and weirdos’ that litter the Manhattan landmark. 

‘The mood here is electric, the smell of halal food and horse manure is in the air,’ he said, as he sifted through stereotypical figures including ‘a man alone with a drone’ and ‘high park employees who don’t care about their job’. 

The Saturday night fixture also saw the hosting debut of actress Ana de Armas, who announced she was becoming an American citizen to mark her ‘magical year’. 

The sketch, which aired to mixed reviews, opened with cast regular Michael Day as an ‘older man doing an aggressive power walk’

Michael Longfellow, left, and James Austin Johnson, center, portrayed ‘perverts in the park’

Temperatures in the Big Apple skyrocketed this week, giving SNL the idea to satirize the return of revelers to the sun-soaked park. 

‘Here in New York City, the temperature hit 90 degrees this week, a full two months ahead of schedule,’ said co-host Heidi Gardener. 

‘And while that may be terrifying on a climate level, the warm weather can only mean one thing – all the freaks, crazies and weirdos are headed to Central Park. And we’re expecting to see some iconic park people today.’

‘It’s an absolute icon of the park,’ opened Chang, as he brought in Michael Day as an ‘older man doing an aggressive power walk’. 

‘I’m wearing the tightest spandex shirt of all time, little shorts, and a weird heart rate monitor strapped to my arm,’ joked the parody character. 

The Central Park cliche performed a rendition of the ridiculous walk, before Gardener then introduced the most risqué role of the sketch. 

‘I am starstruck right now,’ she sarcastically said. ‘I am joined by not one, but two perverts who came to the park to pleasure themselves.’ 

‘Nice to be out of the subway,’ responded binocular-wearing cast member Michael Longfellow, who appeared alongside James Austin Johnson in the skit. 

‘Where should the police be looking for you?’ asks Gardener, as Longfellow responds: ‘You know where to find your boys – in the bushes baby’. 

The show, which entered its 48th season in October 2022, brought in 4.2 million people in last week’s show, which is a marked downturn for the sketch classic that once peaked at 17 million viewers.  

Among the numerous cliche characters was Molly Kearney as ‘a woman learning to roller blade’

Also making an appearance in the Central Park stereotype was ‘high park employees who don’t care about their jobs’

Andrew Dismukes, left, joined Heidi Gardener as he portrayed ‘a grown man with a drone who’s alone’

‘We were hoping she’d make an appearance,’ continued Chang, bringing in Molly Kearney as ‘a woman learning to roller blade’. 

‘I’ve always wanted to learn, and I thought what better place than a crowded pathway filled with thousands of people?’ 

Next on the comical roll call was ‘park employees who don’t care about their jobs’, who quickly admitted: ‘We are very high right now, thank you for asking’. 

After a brief cameo from Ego Nwodim as a woman lost in the park, the skit fell to Andrew Dismukes as he portrayed ‘a grown man with a drone who’s alone’. 

He was followed by ‘one of the worst park people of all’ – a man with a clipboard ‘who wants to know if you have a second for a good cause’.

‘People absolutely hate you, can you tell us why?’ asked Chang. 

‘I think it’s because I zero in on folks trying to enjoy themselves, and ask them for money,’ responded the character, played by Marcello Hernandez, as he confronted Michael Day’s over-the-top walker. 

The sketch, which appeared to be met with mixed reviews after it aired, concluded with ‘crazy man with a microphone,’ played by Kenan Thompson, and ‘wealthy woman and child’ with Chloe Fineman. 

Guest host Ana de Armas revealed during her debut show she is set to become an American citizen to mark her ‘magical year’

The show was also marked by a heartwarming moment with guest host Ana de Armas during her first ever opening monologue. 

‘This has been a magical year,’ said the actress. ‘Not only was I nominated for an Oscar, but in three weeks I’m going to officially become an American citizen.

‘I am proud to become a citizen because when I moved here, everyone was so welcoming.’  

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