Kate McKinnon’s Laura Ingraham, Pete Davidson’s Novak Djokovic & James Austin Johnson’s Donald Trump Volley In ‘SNL’ Cold Open

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As with almost every role she plays on Saturday Night Live, Kate McKinnon does a wicked version of Fox News’ Laura Ingraham.

Listing off rising inflation, rocking gas prices, and the flaws of the Green M&M girl, McKinnon’s wonky-eyed Ingraham went right after the first year of Joe Biden’s “disaster” of a presidency in the cold open of SNL tonight.

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The skit then took aim at “former Wendy’s spokesgirl” Jen Psaki with an obvious heavily edited and jumpy clip that saw the White House press secretary saying “we are not good people; the American people should vote us out.”

McKinnon mocked the faked clip of Psaki as the “most true things she ever said.”

After lamenting the recent death of “America’s Dad” and millionaire murderer Robert Durst, SNL MVP McKinnon went full Ingraham with a literal “list of things liberals are trying to take from you” that very nearly could have come off FNC’s primetime with its inclusion of guns, country singer (and ex-SNL guest) Morgan Wallen and “missionary.”

Unfortunately, the return of Aidy Bryant’s Ted Cruz impersonation threw the whole thing off the tracks for a bit – even with that great line that the Texas senator’s laughable beard is like the January 6, 2021 coup attempt: “Shocking at first, but sadly it’s been normalized.” Bryant is incredibly talented, but her rendition of Cruz’s pathetic kneeling to the whims of Donald Trump and FNC’s overlord just doesn’t land a punch.

Better was Pete Davidson as Novak Djokovic and James Austin Johnson’s return as Donald Trump.

Termed “Unvaccinated Tennis Player” by the mock lower third, Davidson sold the scandal of the champion who was finally booted out of Australia this week after showing up Down Under for lacking the correct immunizations and for lying about his Covid status and movement on immigration forms.

“I am now the least popular Joker, except for Jared Leto,” Davidson’s Djokovic quipped in reference to Batman’s foe and the Oscar winner’s lame stint in the role in 2016’s Suicide Squad. “I found him relatable,” McKinnon’s Ingraham exclaimed, admitting to her guest that she’s a fan because “in tennis, love is bad.”

“In my heart, I know that one day, people will look back on this moment in history and say ‘who cares!’” the skit’s Djokovic declared, in what is probably a very true insight.

Next up in the fast-paced opener was Ego Nwodim as Ingraham’s “one Black friend” Candace Owens to say that MLK barely said anything about anything, and that the iconic civil rights leader “would have voted for Trump.”

Cruz and Owens are targets as least as easy as hitting the side of a barn and came off so in tonight’s SNL.

However, Johnson’s Trump playing Wordle in a rant about vaccines that some how incorporated John Mayer, Hillary Clinton, newly launched sitcom spinoff How I Met Your Father and Jason Momoa was near priceless. Add Johnson’s uncanny capturing of the former Celebrity Apprentice host’s voice and cadence plus a shout-out to Prada and Trump’s own name and you have a clip that is sure to keep on giving online this weekend – as you can see below

The second SNL of 2022, tonight’s show sees former cast member Will Forte returning to 30 Rockefeller Plaza’s studio 8H in his hosting debut.

The gig comes just over a month after Forte’s old SNL MacGyver parody skit MacGruber debut on NBCU’s streamer Peacock as an eight-episode series to favorable-leaning reviews. In addition to Forte, SNL will have the Italian rock band Måneskin performing as the musical guests. Having opened for the Rolling Stones and on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last year, the quartet jumped to international fame after winning the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest.

Next week sees Spider-Man: No Way Home and Nightmare Alley star Willem Dafoe make his SNL hosting debut, with Katy Perry back as musical guest for a fourth time. The American Idol judge actually fronted SNL too back in December 2011.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVt59iF4oYE?version=3&enablejsapi=1&origin=https://deadline.com&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent&w=640&h=360]

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