NBC stirred plenty of controversy this week by granting Donald Trump his own town hall in the same time slot as Joe Biden’s broadcast—but the decision seems even more cynical than some critics alleged when you realize how much Saturday Night Live maestro Lorne Michaels and his merry band of comedians must have been drooling at the prospect.
Saturday night’s cold open kicked off the show, predictably, with a re-enactment of this week’s dueling town halls. Viewers toggle between the two—“trying to decide,” in the show’s parlance, “between a Hallmark movie and an alien autopsy.”
Plenty of familiar faces re-appeared: Jim Carrey’s “former vice president and future oatmeal spokesman” Joe Biden, Alec Baldwin’s pouty Trump, Mikey Day as George Stephanopoulos, Maya Rudolph as the show’s charismatic Kamala Harris, and Kate McKinnon in a surprise appearance as Trump town hall moderator and “surprise badass” Savannah Guthrie.
Despite Carrey’s Biden’s feeble attempts to spice things up with TikTok dances and in-crowd meet-and-greets, his town hall just keeps getting snoozier—replicating, as the show puts it, the energy of a “poorly attended college lecture.” But McKinnon, meanwhile, lays into Baldwin’s Trump with vigor from the start. “I’d like to start by tearing you a new one: Now, why won’t you condemn white supremacy?”
But the real highlight of the cold open was the unhinged woman cheering behind Trump in a mask with a sign saying, “Call me, Fox News?”