The COVID-19 vaccine was featured prominently throughout SNL this weekend. New Jersey was reminded once again of its place in environmental history when used syringes were washing up on our beaches back in 1988. Anyone remember this? Well, comedy writers sure didn't forget.

A co-hosting Michael Che was on Weekend Update doing a story about the latest hope in COVID vaccines.

"The FDA has authorized a vaccine from New Jersey-based company Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson will now pair the vaccine with needles from New Jersey's number one syringe supplier ... the beach!"

Of course, with a corresponding still photo.

It happened at Ortley and Island Beach State Park and forced beach closures there. And it was not just needles that washed up. Back when AIDS was a much bigger worry, vials of blood showed up on the sand that were positive for the deadly HIV. Still more tested positive for hepatitis B. Over 30 years later and the jokes keep on coming.

The vaccine also came up in SNL's cold open in a 9-minute skit about a game show called "So You Think You Can Get the Vaccine." Kate McKinnon played Dr. Anthony Fauci as a game show host who explains, "Getting the vaccine shouldn't be a competition but Americans will only want to get it if it means someone else can't."

The contestants included a guy faking being a smoker from New Jersey because we have screwy rules here giving them vaccine priority and a woman faking being elderly to score the shot. The panel of judges included portrayals of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

On a personal note, my mother and stepfather got their first shot of the vaccine on Friday at Kean University. They said the only side effect they had was a sore arm. I need to start getting serious about locating one for myself. As SNL said, all I need is three straight days online of hitting refresh.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

Travel back in time to a colorized Atlantic City circa 1919

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