The very nature of ‘SNL’ requires the show to stay as modern as possible, with many sketches created to directly comment on recent events or current trends. However, the show is often at its absolute best when it values humor over timeliness. We have no idea who decided to write and air a sketch that creates an alternate ending for the timeless Hollywood classic ‘Casablanca,’ but we want to give them a big ol’ hug. This is a real treat for fans of great cinema who also have a sense of humor.

After a Turner Classic Movies-style introduction from Kenan Thompson, we dive right into the foggy, black and white world that is the closing moments of ‘Casablanca.’ Rick (guest host J.K. Simmons, doing a fine Humphrey Bogart) has arranged for a plane to whisk the love of his life, Ilsa (Kate McKinnon, doing an astonishing Ingrid Bergman) back to America, where she and her husband can safely help win World War II. However, the scene quickly goes from familiar to, well, not-so-familiar.

While the original scene is defined by how difficult it is for Ilsa to leave Rick behind, this alternate version is all about how desperate she is to get the heck out of there. All Rick has to do is mention the possibility of a concentration camp and Ilsa abandons any and all doubts, ignoring Rick as he says all of his famous lines and constantly inquiring when the plane will be ready. On paper, it’s only mildly funny, but Simmons’ deadpan Bogart impersonation and McKinnon’s stunning Bergman elevate it into one of the funniest sketches to air on ‘SNL’ all season. The scene is funny on its own, but it’s especially funny for anyone who knows the original film. Like the best parodies, it’s all about the little nuances.

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