Host Will Ferrell surprised viewers by popping up as Gordon Sondland in Saturday Night Live’s cold open this week. But that was nothing compared to the parade of stars and former cast members who showed up for a Democratic debate sketch that, at more than 12 minutes long, had to be one of the longest in the show’s 45 year history.
Kate McKinnon kicked things off as Elizabeth Warren but before long she was joined on stage by Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris (“Gonna tell my kids this is Michelle Obama”) and Larry David as Bernie Sanders (“I'm very proud of the fact that I was the first heart attack patient to show up to the emergency room in a city bus.”)
But that wasn’t all. There was Rachel Dratch as an uncontrollably shaky Amy Klobuchar. “It's my Spidey sense that tingles whenever we need a moderate to say, ‘Girl, we can't pay for that,’” she said. And Woody Harrelson back for the third time as Joe Biden.
“I just want everyone to know, America, I see you,” he said. “And I see the faces you all make when I talk. You're scared—scared I'll say something off-color or even worse, on color. What I want you to know is, you should be scared, because I'm always one second away from calling Cory Booker ‘Barack.’”
Before long, Ferrell was back, this time as an awkward, unblinking billionaire Tom Steyer. “I want to speak directly to you, America,” he said, roaming the stage. “Health care is important. But housing affects everything: where you sleep, where you shop, where you get your shoes shined, where you buy jewels, where you raise peacocks. Am I relatable?”
“Did somebody say billionaire?” Fred Armisen’s Michael Bloomberg said, wandering onto the stage holding a Big Gulp. “I tipped the doorman $30 million,” he explained. “I’d love to see Trump supporters come up with a conspiracy theory about a Jewish billionaire with his own media company,” he added. “Good luck making that stick!”
Cecily Strong and Bowen Yang also got some good looks as Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang, respectively. But overall, the insane list of celebrity cameos meant most full-time cast members were left on the sidelines.