Saturday Night Live took on Donald Trump's impeachment problem
For Saturday Night Live, the timing was close to perfect—reports of the whistleblower complaint about Donald Trump’s contacts with Ukraine broke on September 18th, just 10 days before the debut of the sketch show’s 45th season, and resulted in enough impeachment-related news to keep Alec Baldwin in his Trump wig for months. So naturally, there were plenty of impeachment jokes in the season opener.
The cold open featured the return of Baldwin’s Trump for a sketch that found the president ringing up pretty much everyone in his rolodex for advice on how to tackle his impeachment problem—which is actually a pretty accurate representation of how the president spends a good chunk of his time.
His first conversation was with lawyer Rudy Giuliani, once again played by Kate McKinnon. “We’ve got nothing to worry about, nobody’s going to find out about our illegal side dealings with the Ukraine,” said McKinnon.
“Rudy,” asked Baldwin, “Where are you right now?”
“I’m on CNN right now,” McKinnon replied.
Other callers included Aidy Bryant as Attorney General William Barr, SNL newcomer Bowen Yang as Kim Jong-un, and Chris Redd as a Kanye West trying to distance himself from Trump upon the advice of Don King (Kenan Thompson), Dennis Rodman, and Mike Tyson—all members of a club they’ve called “The Black Wackadoos.” Luckily, Judge Jeanine Pirro (Cecily Strong) was on the other line with a pep talk. “You’ve got dumps like a truck, truck, and thighs like what, what,” she reassured Baldwin's Trump.
In another sketch, the evening’s host, Woody Harrelson, joined Bryant, Strong, and Thompson to play the panelists of a fictional political talk show. In the segment, the four debated the likelihood that this will finally be the scandal that finds the president facing any real consequences.
And the impeachment inquiry gave SNL the opportunity to try out some of its impressions of the 2020 Democratic candidates under the guise of an imagined CNN “Impeachment Town Hall.” Among the standouts were Alex Moffat’s Beto O’Rourke, the return of Larry David’s Bernie Sanders, and SNL alum Maya Rudolphs’ turn as a Kamala Harris who’s gunning to play the gutsy lead in a cop show on TNT.
Harrelson also turned in a great performance as a toothy Joe Biden. “There’s no need to worry anymore, Daddy’s here, America,” he announced. “I see you, I hear you, I sniff you, and I hug you from behind."