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SNL's "Penne Alla Vodka" Parody Ad Praises the Lukewarm Catering Dish We've All Eaten

"Loved by none, but tolerated by all — because it's not that good, but it's not that bad, either."

By Samantha Vincenty

If you've been to an American gathering — nearly any American gathering, from a funeral to a family party to a sports banquet — you've likely heaved a pile of pinkish pasta onto your paper plate. And as we enter graduation season just ahead of wedding season, you're sure to be...maybe not "enjoying," but definitely eating, more of it soon. Which is why Saturday Night Live's "Penne Alla Vodka" parody is right on time. 

How to Watch

Watch Saturday Night Live Saturdays at 11:30/10:30c on NBC and next day on Peacock.  

The faux ad from May 4 Host and Musical Guest Dua Lipa's episode began like a commercial for insurance might. 

"It's there for us when we gather to say good-bye, and when we gather to say hello," a cast of characters played by Molly Kearney, Ego Nwodim, Kenan Thompson, and Chloe Fineman say to the camera, in a montage of special occasions. "It's there for us when one chapter ends, and when a new one begins."

"It's there when we bring home the win, and there when we leave home for our next adventure," a basketball coach (Mikey Day) and a new graduate (Dua Lipa) continue.

"Whenever we gather, for reasons happy or sad, it's there for us: A big-ass aluminum tray of penne alla vodka," the narrator announces, as we see someone plate a scoop next to their marsala chicken breast. Yum, kind of!

RELATED: Watch Dua Lipa's SNL Sketches and Monologue

Host & musical guest Dua Lipa stands onstage during Saturday Night Live Promos

SNL's "Penne Alla Vodka" commercial describes the dish perfectly

"Loved by none, but tolerated by all," a groom played by Andrew Dismukes says, as his bride (Fineman) adds, "because it's not that good — but it's not that bad either."

Pointing out that "may not stay hot, but it never gets all the way cold," the add praises the virtues of the gloopy, inoffensive noodle dish "with a name fancy enough for adults, but a taste bland enough for children."

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Dua Lipa holds up a peace sign during the “It’s There for Us” sketch

Like its catering table companions the "untouched plate of cookies" and a salad "absolutely drenched in creamy balsamic"), you can always count on "a big fat tray of penne alla vodka, served by a slippery plastic spoon" to be there. 

Watch Saturday Night Live's "Penne Alla Vodka" sketch above.