The Last Dance was a huge success when it came out in 2020, probably because it dropped at a time when many, many people were spending more time at home and also simply because it followed all-time captivating personality Michael Jordan and the many teammates and foes whom he played with and against over the years. After its first airing, which was ten hours and still not nearly long enough, we didn't get a ton of good spoofs about the documentary, but thankfully, Keegan-Michael Key was on SNL this week and gave us a great sketch that was worth the wait.
On Saturday Night Live this weekend, Keegan-Michael Key went all out, even including a sketch with The Muppets at one point-- a sketch you could only really get when a comedian is hosting the show. However, for me, the bit that resonated the most was probably Keegan-Michael Key’s spoof of The Last Dance. If you missed it, take a look.
For those who watched The Last Dance, there's going to be an immediate familiarity with what this scene is in reference to. In the documentary, Michael Jordan, who is consistently portrayed both by the doc and in his own words as being hyper-competitive, plays a game with the United Center security guards in which they throw a quarter against the wall. In the doc, Jordan is bested by security guard John Michael Wozniak, who then turns and does the Jordan shrug right in his face. It's absolute gold in the documentary and led to a bunch of articles exploring how close Jordan was with the security guards at the United Center. The moment also launched tons of memes and conversations on Twitter from people who couldn't get enough of Wozniak rubbing it in Jordan's face.
In the SNL sketch, Keegan-Michael Key plays Michael Jordan and John Michael Wozniak is played by Heidi Gardner, complete with his trademark blond hair. The back and forth starts in a very similar manner to the actual documentary, but instead of the game ending with Wozniak's shrug and victory, Jordan goes into full competition mode and increasingly ups the stakes until Wozniak is left heavily in debt, without pants and explaining to his wife that she'll need to spend a night with MJ. It's all ridiculous but also feels oddly possible given how aggressive Jordan is shown being throughout The Last Dance. Kenan Thompson also shows up as Charles Barkley in the sketch, which plays well because the impression is spot-on as always and Barkley actually plays a pretty extensive and fun role in The Last Dance, as well, although more as an on-court rival and not so much as someone gambling on quarters against the security guards.
We also get an appearance from Chris Redd as Dennis Rodman, which works really well here too. Rodman was, of course, very well known to basketball fans and those who follow pop culture prior to the documentary, but The Last Dance was the first extended glimpse into the larger-than-life personality for many younger viewers, and they could not get enough. The scene where he talked about how he rebounded was an all-time classic, and people couldn't get enough of his Las Vegas exploits with Carmen Electra either.
Moving forward, there are several documentaries attempting to pick up where The Last Dance left off. There is one coming about the Lakers dynasty. There's another following Tom Brady, and I'm sure there's a ton more we haven't heard about yet either. I'm not sure any will be able to recapture the magic of The Last Dance, which was a perfect storm of timing, over-the-top personalities and brutal honesty to the point of pissing off some players. As a huge sports fan, though, I cannot wait to watch them try.