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'SNL' sends up the NPR Tiny Desk with an intern who pleads, 'keep the ruckus down'

A view of NPR's Tiny Desk.
NPR
A view of NPR's Tiny Desk.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, count us flattered. Saturday Night Live poked fun at NPR's Tiny Desk this weekend in a skit about an office concert gone awry after it gets interrupted by a work-obsessed NPR intern.

The skit opens up at the Tiny Desk with this weekend's host, Ramy Youssef, playing the part of the lead singer of a band that's performing to a crowd of NPR staff.

"Thank you so much NPR. We are the Jonah Hughes Band. I'm Jonah Hughes," Youssef says. "That last one usually has a lot more synth, but since this is a Tiny Desk concert, we got to be quirking it up."

His bandmate interjects, "Yup, that's why I play a milk carton shaker."

"She is usually on the cello," Youssef says.

As the band starts up its next song about an ex-girlfriend — titled "Crazy Girl (Amanda)" — a 35-year-old NPR intern played by Bowen Yang walks in asks the band to "keep the ruckus down."

Another employee explains that Yang is working on a podcast about "AI and rural queers," to which Yang waltzes back in to announce that he landed on a title for the podcast.

"It's called Beep Boop I'm Gay Now. It's a play on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, but it's not funny at all," Yang says.

Youssef attempts to keep performing, but Yang interrupts again to say, "I'm just on an important zoom with Ira and Terry — Glass and Gross."

Facing backlash from the angry crowd, Yang's character tries to drop a hard truth: "I'm brave enough to say it, that desk is not tiny. Never was. Just feels small because there's so much crap on it," he says.

As the argument grows, Yang picks up a microphone and breaks into an impromptu taping for his podcast. Youssef agrees to participate — and even comes up with a theme song for the show.

"If you're gay or a robot in a small rural town, beep beep beep boop," the band sings.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Juliana Kim
Juliana Kim is a weekend reporter for Digital News, where she adds context to the news of the day and brings her enterprise skills to NPR's signature journalism.
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