Saturday Night Live kicked off its latest episode with a cold open mocking its own network’s town hall with President Donald Trump.
NBC received sharp criticism this week for scheduling its event with the president at the same as ABC’s town hall with Biden. It was held on what would have been the night of the second presidential debate, which was canceled after Trump refused to participate in a virtual debate.
In a voiceover before the cold open, SNL joked that Biden took part in an ABC town hall as scheduled, while NBC “laid a thirst trap” for Trump.
“One town hall was a thoughtful, cogent discussion of the issues facing our country. The other featured President Trump,” the voiceover added.
SNL explained that it was presenting a “rebroadcast” of the dueling town halls the way most Americans watched them—”flipping back and forth, trying to decide between a Hallmark movie and an alien autopsy.”
Mikey Day, as moderator George Stephanopoulos, introduced “former vice president and future oatmeal spokesman” Biden, played by Jim Carrey.
After appearing on stage, Carrey performs some dance moves he learned “from the kids on TikTok.”
“Here’s the deal… unlike the president, I actually have a plan,” Carrey later says in response to a question from a man in the audience “OK, great… What is it?” The man asks.
“A plan? It’s a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something,” Carrey replies. As he the launches into “a story mixed with a complicated math problem,” the channel flips to NBC.
There, Kate McKinnon, portraying “surprise bada**” Savannah Guthrie, welcomes viewers to NBC’s town hall with Trump, played by Alec Baldwin.
“We have lots of voters waiting to ask you questions, but I’d like to start by tearing you a new one: Now, why won’t you condemn white supremacy?” McKinnon asks.
“I do, I do condemn it, I have always, more or less, condemned it,” Baldwin responds.
“What about QAnon?” McKinnon presses. “You mean the group that thinks Democrats are a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles, that I’m their Messiah? I don’t know anything about them at all,” Baldwin replies.
The sketch also featured the woman who went viral for nodding repeatedly behind the president. She is seen behind Baldwin, holding up a sign saying: “Call me, Fox News!” A confused Maya Rudolph briefly appeared as Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, commenting that it was either “Candace Owens in a wig or baby girl answered the wrong Craigslist ad.”
When the channel switches back to ABC, Day’s Stephanopoulos says he’s watching “the Trump one.”
“They’re really going at it,” he notes, as viewers turn to see McKinnon and Baldwin in a WrestleMania spoof. McKinnon grabs a folding chair from the audience and appears to hit Baldwin’s Trump in the face.
Another jab at NBC’s Trump town hall came during SNL‘s “Weekend Update” segment.
“NBC held a town hall event with President Trump because… what can I say? We have a type,” host Michael Che joked as a graphic showing Bill Cosby, Matt Lauer and Trump appeared on screen.
Cosby, a convicted sex offender, starred in several shows on NBC, while Lauer was fired from Today after an accusation of sexual misconduct by a female colleague.
The president, who appeared in his own NBC show, The Apprentice, has also been of sexual misconduct by numerous women. He has denied those allegations.