“Saturday Night Live” opened its 47th season by setting its sights on a man likely to be a primary target for the next few years: President Joe Biden.
Biden, who has been struggling with first-year approval ratings following a botched exit from Afghanistan, a summer wave of Covid-19, and a do-good legislative agenda that has so far done nothing, was roasted through an impression by new cast member James Austin Johnson.
In the cold open, as in real life, Biden struggled with his infrastructure and social spending proposals because of disagreements from members of his own party, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (Alex Moffatt), Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (Cecily Strong) and Joe Manchin (Aidy Bryant) and Reps. Ilhan Omar (Ego Nwodim) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Melissa Villaseñor).
After Biden introduced described himself as “like an oil change — you don’t think about me until you absolutely have to,” the infighting began.
“As a wine drinking tri-sexual athlete I know what the average American wants,” Sinema said.
Later, she clarified her position on infrastructure spending: “I want no roads.”
Why? Biden asked.
“Chaos,” she responded.
Manchin explained his political outlook by saying, “I’m a Democrat from West Virginia. If I vote for electric cars, they’re going to kill me.”
Omar said of herself, “I was designed in a lab to give Tucker Carlson a heart attack.”
Ocasio-Cortez: “I wore a dress that said tax the rich then spent all night partying with the rich. Oops!”
The show moved on to depict “The View” and its airing of two co-hosts being pulled from the set after falsely testing positive for Covid-19. Except in the “SNL” version of events, the daytime talkshow was called “The Talking.”
Host Owen Wilson portrayed a white-coated clinician who had to inform one of the women, played by Heidi Gardner, of her status.
“I’m sorry I have to inform you of your test results,” he said. “It has to be on TV for HIPAA reasons.”
Then he aimed for a co-host played by Bryant.
“The bad news is one of you ladies also tested positive, but you’re on live TV so I want to be discreet about this,” Wilson said. “I’m just going to put my hand on the head of the person who has Covid.”
He slowly placed his hand on Bryant’s head.
A co-host played by Strong was then targeted by the lab coat.
“I have Covid?” she said.
“No,” he answered. “You have HPV.”
A skit on summer’s race to space between Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson and Elon Musk, “Star Trek Ego Quest,” was teased as “a midlife crisis of cosmic proportions.”
Musk, played by Mikey Day, explained why the men have been so competitive: “Space is only big enough for one white billionaire.”
Then there was a spoof of a school board meeting where public speakers decried mask rules and vaccine mandates.
Bowen Yang portrayed a Rastafarian-style man who yelled, “Barack Hussein Obama!” before being dismissed by school board members.
Pete Davidson portrayed Dog the Bounty Hunter and said, “I’m trying to hunt for Brian Laundrie,” he said.
Yang returned to declare, “Hillary Rodham Hussein Clinton!”
On news segment “Weekend Update,” co-host Colin Jost lamented that things aren’t as exciting this fall as they were one year ago when President Donald Trump was rushed to a hospital after contracting Covid-19.
“The big story this year?” he said. “Infrastructure. It’s not great for TV.”
Jost did say that if Democrats can’t get a bill to maintain transportation and other infrastructure needs, “We’ll just cross that bridge when it collapses on top of us.”
Fellow host Michael Che marveled at a new antiviral drug that has shown promise for treating Covid-19.
“The treatment is just waiting for approval from either the FDA or the ‘Joe Rogan Experience,’” he said.
The hosts were joined by A Black Woman Who’s Been Missing for 10 Years, played by Nwodim, who said, “It’s good to be here Colin.”
“Honestly it’s good to be anywhere,” she said “Because I have been missing.”
Jost and Che dedicated the segment’s final moments to 1990s “Weekend Update” anchor Norm Macdonald, who died last month at age 61.
A few of his jokes were played, and he signed off with the line, “And that’s the way it is folks, good night.”