When Spock and Kirk infiltrated the mobster planet of Sigma Iotia II in 2268, they briefly donned the costumes of gangsters and Spock became, for a moment, “Spocko.” This means that “Spocko” from Saturday Night Live is not only a second-hand Spocko, but the original Spocko was way funnier.
On May 6, SNL aired a sketch in which Bobby Moynihan played Spock’s half-brother from Queens named “Spocko.” The gag was okay, but it weirdly didn’t contain a tenth of the humor of the original Spocko as he appeared in the classic 1967 Star Trek episode “A Piece of the Action.” Of the entire original series, this premise was one of the more outlandish ones: What if an entire planet’s culture based their rules and customs on cliché mobster rules? When this exact thing happens, Kirk, Spock and the crew of the Enterprise have to try and save the mobster planet people from themselves, and the results are hilarious.
After trying to reason with the mobsters, Spock and Kirk take a when-in-Rome approach and manage to out-mobster the mobsters. This results in Kirk saying “all right Spocko, cover ‘em” as the daring space heroes swing around some Tommy guns. The writers of the SNL sketch were probably unaware of the real Spocko, for which they can be forgiven. But, the moment of Spock acting like a mobster badass in real Star Trek has ten times the wit of the new SNL “Spocko from Queens” sketch. The late Leonard Nimoy may have been famous for acting cold and emotionless, but Spock was often the source of a lot of comedy, proving that playing it straight is sometimes the best way to get a laugh. As the faux SNL Neil deGrasse Tyson (Kenan Thompson) said in the SNL sketch, this is what we call “a Trekkie burn.”