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'SNL' laughs at the 'Gravity' of the shutdown

In a poignantly amusing skit, all that's left at NASA are the janitors, and they cannot help those lost in space.

Oh, dear. No one there to help.
NBC Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Oh, look, this shutdown's not a big deal, is it?

We can do without a few national parks for a while. It'll let the grass grow and the animals run wild without interruptions from humans.

And then there's NASA. Honestly, is it really necessary? Space? We've been there. We've done that.

NBC's "Saturday Night Live" isn't quite so convinced. So it wondered what would have happened had the troubling events of "Gravity" occurred during, say, the government shutdown.

Here we have our heroes lost in space. "SNL" couldn't afford George Clooney and Sandra Bullock to reprise their roles. So in stepped, oh, you know, two funny people: Cecily Strong and Taran Killam.

Desperate to get help from Houston after becoming detached from the Hubble Telescope, the two first get no reply.

Then, relief. Oh, but not such great relief. For all that is left at NASA are the janitors.

They're keeping it clean, while Congress is being mean.

Sadly, they're not quite au fait with all the equipment. The first janitor explains he has an idea to save the astronauts, but it might be "kind of dumb."

Nothing can be dumb right now, surely. Then again, the idea is from "Willy Wonka."

Then the Ukrainian janitor tries to do a deal. If she saves the astronauts, can they get her son a job, so that they can move back to their homeland "where the government is more stable?"

This might slightly depend on your definition of stability, but still.

I won't spoil the ending for you, but it doesn't involve the Mars rover and wheelies.

I won't spoil the ending of the government shutdown for you either, because, well, how can you predict the actions of the space cadets in Congress?