The opener of Saturday Night Live was a skewering of the competing town halls between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, switching back and forth from two very different events.
The town halls on Thursday were an easy target for satire: There was an outcry earlier this week when NBC scheduled a town hall with Trump against one already planned on ABC with Biden. But Savannah Guthrie, moderating the NBC News event, earned widespread praise for pressing Trump with hard hitting questions and followups.
Kate McKinnon, playing Guthrie, opened by saying, “Good evening America. I am surprise badass Savannah Guthrie, and if you are angry at NBC for doing this town hall, just let me get a few questions in, and I think you will thank me.”
Jim Carrey returned as Biden, this time boring his audience with long-winded answers and a genteel demeanor that had him eventually putting on a sweater, ala Mr. Rogers. Alec Baldwin returned as Trump, mispronouncing Guthrie’s name (“Serengetti,” “Santana”) and defending his retweeting of conspiracy theories.
When Guthrie asks him why he doesn’t denounce QAnon, Trump responds, “You mean the group that thinks Democrats are a cabal of Satan worshiping pedophiles, that I am their Messiah? I don’t know anything about them.”
“Yes you do Mr. President,” Guthrie says.
“Well, I do know that they are against pedophilia and I agree with that. If anyone is against pedophiles, it is me, the man who was close personal friends with one of the most famous pedophiles on earth,” he responded. “Rest in power, Jeffrey.”
That was a reference to Jeffrey Epstein.
The skit started with a narrator’s introduction, “On Thursday, Vice President Biden held a town hall as scheduled on ABC. At the same time, NBC laid a thirst trap for President Trump
“One tall hall was a thoughtful cogent discussion of the issues, facing our country. The other featured President Trump.”
Then it went to the Biden town hall, moderated by Mikey Day (George Stephanopoulos), and it’s a snooze fest.
“Hey George, I have given every audience member a glass of warm milk and a blanket,” Biden tells him at the outset. “Who’s ready to have some fun with some facts and figures?”
When Guthrie challenges Trump over his retweet of a conspiracy theory that Osama bin Laden is still alive. “You can’t just do things like that. You are not just someone’s crazy uncle,” she says.
Trump responds, “Right now is a preview of Thanksgiving dinner, and a lot of American households have crazy uncles. Stand back and stand by.”
As the town halls go on, they become a study in contrasts. On ABC, Biden puts on a sweater and sings the Fred Rogers anthem Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. On NBC, Guthrie and Trump engage in Wrestlemania.
Making a cameo appearance in the skit was Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris.
Later, on Weekend Update, co-anchor Michael Che said that “NBC held a town hall event with President Trump because, what can I saw, we have a type.” Then the images of Bill Cosby, Matt Lauer and Trump flashed next to him on the screen.
“Who are these town halls even for? I mean, who is still on the fence about this election. Whether you are voting for Trump or Biden, you definitely have made up your mind, and you are probably not thrilled about it. These choices are so bad that Kanye’s running and people are like, maybe? That wouldn’t happen if we had actually good candidates. When Kennedy was running against Nixon, nobody was like, what about Little Richard?”
Watch the video above.
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