David Byrne returned to Saturday Night Live for the first time in 31 years to present songs from his American Utopia stage show as well as reunite with Sack Lunch Bunch cast mate John Mulaney for a Broadway pastiche about airport sushi.
Byrne opened his SNL musical guest spot — his first since 1989 — with the American Utopia rendition of Talking Heads’ classic “Once in a Lifetime,” with the singer and his barefoot troupe delivered a joyous take on the Remain in Light single.
For his second performance, Byrne and company once again drew from their now-completed-but-returning Broadway musical with “Toe Jam,” a Byrne-penned track that was originally released in 2008 via Fatboy Slim’s Brighton Port Authority project.
“Once in a Lifetime” wasn’t the only Talking Heads classic to get the SNL treatment: In the “Airport Sushi” sketch, Byrne — playing “Baggage Handler Who Tosses Everyone’s Suitcase Into Long Island Sound” — reunited with host Mulaney for a LaGuardia Airport-inspired rendition of “Road to Nowhere,” here dubbed “Plane to Nowhere”:
Byrne’s American Utopia Broadway residency wrapped February 16th, but the show will return for 17 more weeks of performances at New York’s Hudson Theatre in September. Spike Lee will also helm a film version of the acclaimed stage show.