This week’s “Saturday Night Live” cold open began as a pretty straightforward rehash of the Republican presidential debate from the past week, but then James Austin Johnson’s Donald Trump crashed the proceedings and spoke directly to the camera, roasting the various contenders (and their “SNL” counterparts) — and himself.
The sketch opened with Kenan Thompson as Lester Holt introducing a host of “SNL” cast members debuting impressions as Republican challengers. “Welcome to the Republican kids’ table debate,” Thompson’s Holt said.
“My wife said I could try this one more time,” Molly Kearney’s Chris Christie quipped. “I’m excited to look good in comparison,” Heidi Gardner’s Nikki Haley added, while Devon Walker’s Tim Scott rambled on about his girlfriend: “She is real and we’re dating, and for her I feel a real sense of human love.”
Then James Austin Johnson’s Donald Trump appeared and the performers on the debate stage froze, with Johnson’s Trump quite literally stopping time.
“How adorable, they actually think they’ve got a chance,” he said. “Sad in some ways but in other ways, funny.”
He started roasting the contenders one by one, calling out Scott for polling at 1%, to which he said, “1%, very low. Lower than, frankly, milk,” before rambling about how he just discovered the existence of skim milk. And in a jab at Scott and his girlfriend, Johnson’s Trump said, “They make me and Melania look like Taylor and Travis,” of course referring to Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce.
Turning his attention to Vivek Ramaswamy, Johnson’s Trump said, “He’s rich, he’s rude, he’s got weird hair. He’s a lot like me except for one thing that matters a lot to my horrible, horrible base: White.”
Things then got meta as he called attention to the fact that “SNL” cast member Ego Nwodim got stuck playing Vivek.
Trump makes an appearance at the Republican debate pic.twitter.com/QQO6hDd95W
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) November 12, 2023
He also pointed out that Ron DeSantis was played by Please Don’t Destroy member John Higgins. “Ron’s watching at home like, ‘Who is that?’ Even ‘SNL’ doesn’t think he has a chance. If he did it’d be like Paul Rudd or something in there.”
The meta turned introspective as well. “I am losing it also,” Johnson’s Trump said, the impression spot-on. “I say things like ‘I’m beating Obama.’ That’s not right, but it’s fine.”
He also took on Trump’s trials, saying, “I’m going from trial to trial. I’m basically doing ‘House Hunters’ but courtroom.”
And in a beat about Trump’s children, he said, “My sweet little criminal-aged children. It’ll be very sad when I pin it all on one of them, probably Eric.”
In one final meta dig about the “SNL” cast members on stage, Johnson’s Trump said, “That concludes the debate, and that’s probably a wrap on some of these impressions as well.”
The post ‘SNL’ Cold Open Finds Trump Roasting Republican Challengers and Himself: ‘I Am Losing it Also’ (Video) appeared first on TheWrap.