NJ mall featured in SNL safe Santa skit
America may not be able to agree on whether to listen to a top epidemiologist like Dr. Anthony Fauci over a pseudo-science supplements pusher discredited by the FDA like Dr. Joseph Mercola. But I think we can all agree that it's really sad for kids that they can't sit on Santa's lap this year. Malls throughout New Jersey and around the country are having "safe Santa experiences" where there's no sitting on laps, no contact, and masks being worn sometimes from behind plexi-glass barriers. Visiting Santa this year is kind of like visiting your wayward cousin Tony at East Jersey State.
The idea behind an SNL bit was what can go wrong when you're trying to still have Santa visits in the age of COVID-19. The answer is...a lot. Jason Bateman from 'Arrested Development' and 'Ozark' played Santa while Cecily Strong played Mrs. Claus. Both are sealed away inside giant plastic bubbles as Kyle Mooney plays a robotic, virtual contactless elf.
Cute but not the funniest of SNL skits, maybe the real star of this one for New Jersey viewers was the quick exterior shot that opened the sketch. While the sign on the mall says Fairfield, it's actually Westfield Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus. A giant Santa began at the mall back in 1957. This is back when a store called Bamberger's was the big anchor store, way before my time. In the 1980's the mall went through changes and part of that was the ditching of the traditional Big Santa. But a few years ago they brought the big guy back, all 45 feet of him, in his current form.
Nice to see a Jersey guy get some SNL time, even if he is full of hot air.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.