Benedict Cumberbatch kicked off his Saturday Night Live episode with a bang, acting in a hilarious sketch about how a medieval law has been cited in the leaked draft majority opinion overturning on Roe v Wade and written by Justice Samuel Alito. “We now go to that profound moment of moral clarity, almost a thousand years ago, which laid such a clear foundation for what our laws should be in 2022,” a scrolling text said in the opening of the sketch, before Benedict — in full medieval attire — appeared.
The actor, who rose to fame for his portrayal as detective Sherlock Holmes in the BBC hit Sherlock, played off that well-known character in the sketch, doing his best Sir Matthew Hale (the man who lived in 1609 and who was quoted by Alito). “While I was cleaning the side of the castle while we poop…I started to think about abortion,” Benedict as Sir Matthew Hale began telling two other men. “We should make a law that will stand the test of time, so hundreds and hundreds of years from now, they will go back and say, ‘no need to update this one, they nailed it in 1235,'” he quipped.
A profound moment of moral clarity from 13th century England pic.twitter.com/loZfY5sb40
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) May 8, 2022
“The worst thing is that someone leaks this conversation to the town crier,” he added, as she indeed walked in, portrayed by none other than Cecily Strong, who “had a couple questions” about what she overheard. “Shouldn’t women have the right to choose since having a child means there’s a 50% chance of dying?” she pondered. After a unanimous vote between the three, the men decided to ban abortion — and in came a medieval-attired Kate McKinnon!
“I can see the future…one day, these barbaric laws will be overturned,” Kate, dressed as a witch and describing herself as a “woman in her thirties” said. “I don’t know why my visions from that time are confusing…it seems they come from a place called Florida,” she said, also teasing the future “trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.”
In real life, Alito wrote about “two treatises by Sir Matthew Hale,” going on to quote that a child who died in the womb was a “great crime” and “great misprision.”
The SNL appearance marks the second for the British actor, who made his debut hosting back in 2016. Benedict is stepping in to the NBC studio as a part of the promo campaign for Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, aka the actor’s second movie in the franchise.
The film premiered on May 6 in New York, with the star-studded cast in attendance. The Doctor‘s travels through the Multiverse bring him to Earth 838 in the flick. Baron Mordo takes Strange to face the Illuminati, who are revealed to be a team of heroes that are basically Earth 838’s version of the Avengers. One of those heroes is none other than Mr. Fantastic, played by the one and only John Krasinski.
John has been a favorite pick amongst fans to play the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Mr. Fantastic, but he’s not the only notable person that’s part of the Illuminati. Captain Carter is a member as well, with Marvel favorite Hayley Atwell in the role, along with Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch), Black Bolt (Anson Mount), and Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart).