Peppy Ronnie and the Pizza Pals have been haunting my dreams since Saturday night. They're the animatronic band that premiered on Saturday Night Live in one of the tamest, most apolitical of the show's skits that night: Pizza Town. Aziz Ansari stars as Peppy Ronnie, the lead singer with gumby-esque hair and his signature toy-poodle voice. Pizza Town has been abandoned for presumably, years, and is now the location of an epic criminal standoff. The dorkish Kyle Mooney is the wanted man Carozzi, ambushed by Putin-impersonator Beck Bennett (who admittedly had some trouble with his lines) and everyone's fave, Kenan Thompson. But the real madness ensues when Bennett asks Thompson to find the fuse box and get the lights.
"I like that pizza pizza / I like that pizza pie! / Give me a piece of pizza / Pizza what? Pizza pie!"
With an unaware whimsy not unlike that of Tom Hanks' deviously sweet David S. Pumpkins ("Any questions?), Ansari's robotic movements and plastered on smile make us forget, if only for a moment, that politics even exist. It instantly brought me back to my days at Stew Leonard's, seeing that terrifying clan of "Holstein Family Singers", which were the subject of many a childhood nightmare.
But this jolly pizza band was nothing like those creepy, broken-down farm animals. Otherwise underutilized in that night's show, Bobby Moynihan played a convincing Italian drummer named "Chef Jeff," while "Cheesy Steve" (Mikey Day) shredded his "guitarmigian[a]" and "Sausome Mary Nara" (Aidy Bryant) shook her tambourine. They were not short on the pizza puns, let me
warn tell you.
While Bennett tries to discourage his partner from being distracted by the momentary interludes of the pizza band (truly odd considering the high-stakes context), Thompson actually finds the gang amusing. I did, too. Beck Bennett, why do you always have to bring down the party? Just let us enjoy the pizza band, okay?
Even though the show has gotten some flack from our new prez, it's skits like these that keep SNL going. Even though the skit was a little cheesy, I can't get that damn pizza song out of my head.
Watch the sketch here: