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‘Saturday Night Live’ Is Already Looking Toward the Election

‘Saturday Night Live’ Is Already Looking Toward the Election

A new poll conducted by The New York Times and Siena College indicated that voters have a wide range of concerns about President Biden in the months before the 2024 presidential election. But “Saturday Night Live” gave some of Biden’s advocates — or, at least, the cast members impersonating them — the opportunity to dispel these anxieties and argue that he isn’t too old to continue in the job.

In its opening sketch, “S.N.L.,” which was hosted this week by Sydney Sweeney and featured the musical guest Kasey Musgraves, offered a parody of CNN’s “Inside Politics” with Dana Bash.

Heidi Gardner, playing Bash, began her program with Michael Longfellow, who was playing Gov. Gavin Newsom of California,

“I understand that people care about the president’s age, but what they should care about is his record,” Longfellow said. “Look at what Joe Biden has done for America. He’s created more jobs than any president in history. Inflation is down. The Shamrock Shake is back and Beyoncé has gone country. Thank you, Joe.”

When Gardner suggested that Biden might lack youthful vigor, Longfellow countered that he had just come from a meeting with him about the border.

“He had charts, tables, PowerPoints,” Longfellow said. “He had an interactive AR display on the Apple Vision Pro that he programmed himself. The software might be in beta, but the man, he’s in alpha.”

“I’m a little skeptical this is the same man people call Sleepy Joe,” Gardner said.

“Well, he has to sleep, Dana,” Longfellow said. “But even when he’s sleeping, he’s on. The other day he was taking a nap and I whipped a baseball at him and he caught it like De Niro in ‘Awakenings.’ Lightning quick.”

Ego Nwodim, playing the White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, described Biden as “the most vigorous man I’ve ever known.”

She displayed portions of what she said was Biden’s schedule, including a 7 a.m. entry for a SoulCycle class (“And I’m not talking about taking one,” she said. “He leads it”) and an 8:30 a.m. entry for a speed chess match that he wins at 8:32.

Other guests included Marcello Hernández as Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (who said he said Biden should go “into beast mode,” after which he “Parkoured up to the top of the border wall”) and Devon Walker as the Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green (“That man can jump so high that I saw him grab a dollar off the top of the backboard and leave some change”).

Finally, Longfellow tried to bring the president onto the show in a FaceTime call. He connected with the show’s resident Biden impersonator, Mikey Day, who told him, “Hey, hold on, I’m just going to turn up the volume — just gotta find a button.” So saying, he promptly disconnected the call.

This filmed segment, which imagines that the cast member Bowen Yang is secretly straight and potentially open to a romantic relationship with Sweeney, is fine as far as it goes.It’s fun to see Yang throwing himself into a chest bump with his colleagues or devoting himself to an intense round of an online shooting game. Still, we’ll always wonder what could have been made from the throwaway pitch Day suggests here for a musical sketch parody called “Sydney Sweeney Todd.” Ah well — maybe next week we’ll get “Merrily We (Josh) Brolin Along.”

Over at the Weekend Update desk, the anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che riffed on President Biden’s and former President Donald Trump’s dueling visits to the Southern border and Mitch McConnell’s announcement that he would step down as Republican leader in the Senate.

Jost began:

President Biden visited the southern border on Thursday and was horrified to discovered it is being swarmed by criminals and rapists. [His screen shows picture of Trump] That’s right, both Biden and Trump coincidentally visited the border on the same day. Which sounds like the setup for the weirdest rom-com of all time. [His screen shows a fake poster for a movie with Biden and Trump called “You’ve Got Migrants.”] My favorite part of the visit was when Trump, who looks good behind bars by the way, finally came face to face with his sworn enemies, the migrants. And I can’t believe he had a pretty tough message for them, take a look. [He played a portion of a video of Trump waving and saying, “They like Trump, can you believe it?”] No, I can’t believe it. The migrants don’t like you. They just walked a thousand miles to get to this river. And they’re probably thinking, is that weirdo in a Trump costume waving us into the country?

Che continued:

Mitch McConnell, seen here catching up on news from the Middle East, announced that he will step down as the Republican leader in the Senate. McConnell has been leader for almost 20 years, but he first got involved in politics back in 1968 when he lost a fiddle content to the devil. Many are saying he is leaving because of his bad relationship with Donald Trump. But come one, just because you hate somebody doesn’t mean you can’t still have a very successful working relationship with them. [He turned and smiled to an off-camera Jost]

Jost responded:

I almost feel like that was about me. Mitch McConnell, seen here walking out of a theater after seeing “12 Years a Slave,” announced he will step down in November. He’ll be replaced by the current No. 2 republican in the Senate: a frozen embryo holding an assault rifle. Mitch McConnell, seen here after rearranging a blind woman’s furniture, gave a moving speech on the Senate floor announcing his retirement, which honestly made me start to admire Mitch McConnell — seen here watching a single mother sell her blood for diaper money.

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