"Saturday Night Live" returned this weekend and wasted no time mocking the downed Chinese spy balloon.

The 12th episode of Season 48 was hosted by Chilean-American actor Pedro Pascal, who stars in the HBO drama series "The Last of Us." English band Coldplay was the musical guest.

Cold Open

Cast member Chloe Fineman portrayed MSNBC anchor Katy Tur who immediately declared that "Tonight, our long national nightmare is over: We got the balloon."

Cast member Bowen Yang played the balloon, floating off the Eastern Seabord, and delivered snarky comments about surveillance.

"If you care so much about your data, why do you all keep your bank passwords in the notes app? You mail your literal DNA to a company to find out you're, like, 10% French," he said.

Video Sketch

Playing off Pascal's success with "The Last of Us," "SNL" came up with a failed HBO adaptation of a video game: "Mario Kart." Pascal plays Mario, the character who has been a fixture in video games for decades. The sketch also includes Luigi, who announces "It's a Luigi time," while holding a rifle.

Live Sketches

Pascal plays a hospital patient who wakes up from a coma and has developed an "L.A. mush-mouth thing." His wife, sister and friend are perplexed by his voice and his behavior, which includes him repeating the phrase, "Let's put a pin in that." Pascal and cast member Heidi Gardner break character.

Another sketch included Pascal as a "cool teacher," who is perturbed by high school students' fancams. The students explain that COVID has forced them into a culture of fancams.

Weekend Update

Colin Jost and Michael Che began the news with a jab at the Chinese spy balloon.

Jost: "Earlier today, an American fighter jet shot down a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that had been spotted crossing the United States, officially ending history's most complicated gender reveal party. And bad news for China: it's a girl."

Che: "The revised AP African American history class removed the names of several Black authors that Florida officials called 'problematic.' Instead, they've been replaced with authors they call, 'one of the good ones.'"

Jost: "The Senate voted to designate January 'National Stalking Awareness Month,' which is a good reminder that we're only a few weeks away from 'Stalker Christmas.'" [A graphic shows up for Valentine's Day.]

Che: "AMC Theaters is celebrating Black History Month by offering $5 tickets to recently released Black-led movies like 'Wakanda Forever' and 'The Woman King.' They are also honoring Black people by starting the movie 20 minutes late."

Meanwhile, the segment also included a commentary from an irreverent Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog that predicts the weather. Cast member Michael Longfellow smoked while venting about his increasing irrelevance in 2023.

"Saturday Night Live" returns on Feb. 25. The host will be Woody Harrelson with the musical guest Jack White.