The character -- who first was created on SNL as a parody of MacGyver, then went on to have his own movie, and just dropped the first season of a TV show on Peacock last month -- is famously bad at everything he does, and ends up getting everybody blown up.
However, Forte managed to breathe fresh life into the still-funny sketch, with a little help from his MacGruber co-stars Kristen Wiig and Ryan Phillippe.
The first MacGruber sketch of the night (because they almost always comes in threes), sees the trio trying to defuse a bomb in a bank, inside a sealed vault. All three are wearing protective face masks, before MacGruber asks them to take them off, so he can use them to create some elaborate contraption to defuse the explosive.
"Now both of you, hand me your masks!" MacGruber declares. "No time to explain, masks now!"
As MacGruber lights the masks on fire in a tin can, Wiig's Vicki St. Elmo exclaims, "MacGruber, what are you doing?"
"Freeing us from tyranny, Vick," he shoots back. "You're welcome!"
Forte's take on MacGruber's stalwart idiocy this time around is to make him an anti-vaxxer and COVID-denier who doesn't believe in masks and won't get the shot.
The second sketch, as usual, escalates the situation, the stakes and the insanity. As the intro song suggests, MacGruber has learned the error of his ways and now is "following the science." Which, for him, means downing a tube of horse de-wormer and a mouthful of hydroxychloroquine.
As MacGruber goes deeper down the rabbit hole of internet conspiracies, the third MacGruber sketch, and the final sketch of the night, sees the increasingly unstable MacGruber rocking a full QAnon Shaman headdress and no shirt.
As he rants about a cabal of Hollywood elites who eat babies, he also shares his new world view on politics.
"All I can do is pray for you, take up arms against you, and keep the oath I took to protect this country. Because I am an oath keeper and boy am I proud of that. Which I guess makes me a proud boy," MacGruber rambles, unaware entirely of what he's even saying, before once again everything blows up.
It's unlikely these sketches are technically MacGruber "canon," with regards to the MacGruber character fans can see on the first season of the Peacock streaming series, but it's great to see Forte bringing a freshness to such a potentially limiting sketch format.