Watch David Byrne Return to ‘SNL’ After 31 Years
His opening musical spot featured a version of the Talking Heads' classic “Once in a Lifetime,” delivered in the style of Byrne's American Utopia stage show. He followed it up with “Toe Jam” from the musical.
Later, he took part in a sketch titled “Airport Sushi,” where he played “Baggage Handler Who Tosses Everyone’s Suitcase Into Long Island Sound.” The sketch finished with a spoof of Talking Heads' “Road to Nowhere,” re-titled “Plane to Nowhere,” as he led the cast offstage and through the audience.
You can watch all three moments below.
Last year, Byrne told UCR he had a clear intention when he turned his thoughts to the musical. “Part of it was about movement," he explained. "I knew that I could get everybody moving, I would have something different. I would have a stage completely cleared, no wires and water bottles, no mic stands or wedges or anything else. It's all about us and how we move and how we relate to one another."
He noted that "there was this huge knock-on effect. It was incredibly liberating for us. It allows democratization. You can't normally have a drummer in a band come forward to the front of the stage so you can see what this person does. In this case, we could do that because there are six drummers and they can move to the front and I can move to the back. It's not like they're taking a solo, but they're up front so people can see what they do. Everybody in the whole group gets some moments where they are the focus of attention.”