Jennifer Aniston drops by “Weekend Update” to have a Rachel-off with Vanessa Bayer NBC/Screenshot
Jennifer Aniston drops by Weekend Update to come face-to-face with "Rachel from Friends."

Vanessa Bayer can take a one note idea for a character and expand it into an absurd fever dream of a sketch, like Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy’s awkward pauses and room-scanning eyes or overacting kid newscaster Laura Parsons. A reent episode of “Saturday Night Live” saw Bayer come face-to-face with her maker, literally, as Jennifer Aniston came by “Weekend Update” to reclaim Rachel, from “Friends.”

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There to explain the current wave of ’90s nostalgia permeating pop culture, “Rachel from Friends” put it simply: “You go to work, you go on dates, and you go to cafes with your friends, and you all sit facing camera!”

She also gave a genius explanation of ’90s sitcom transitions, usually just an exterior shot of an apartment building, as happening “when I say a sentence that sounds complete, like, ‘I’ll see you tonight, don’t be late!’” Then a quick shot of a building, and Rachel’s at the desk but “in the shower.” Colin Jost is dumbfounded, and Rachel then sees a glitch in the Matrix as Aniston appears to her right.

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It quickly devolves into a “Rachel-off,” with both Aniston and Bayer doing that incredulous-sounding voice and asking vague questions like “What? Me?” until another ’90s-transition puts a bowl of chips and dip on the desk, which Aniston still can’t explain.

Steve is a humor writer for Rare
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