By Spencer Knight, CNN
“Saturday Night Live” kicked off the new season with sketches skewering Joe Biden and other potential 2020 presidential candidates: NBC News is reporting Biden will announce his 2020 bid next month. The mid-season premiere in March captured NBC News’ late-night hit a ratings high, even beating “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
The show’s comedy sketches against Biden were part of a larger, wide-ranging “Weekend Update” storyline aimed at Democrats in the 2018 midterms.
On the past week’s in-season politics episode, Melissa McCarthy recited notes from Joe Biden’s presidential announcement in January, shaking off the historical temperature around this kind of social media piece.
“She got rid of Jane Fonda,” McCarthy’s character, Steph, read during the bit. “Oh, you let her guest star again. You know I used to watch the show when I was in high school. It was…a little ooky and I was freaked out.”
Hilarious Tina Fey parody went here: https://t.co/4E9xT9qfri @TinaFey — Jordan Zakarin (@jordanzakarin) June 16, 2018
Another skit targeted Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “My People” video. “Mom always said, ‘They don’t make them like my mother anymore.’”
And on the latest of a series of memes targeting Army veteran Matt Whitaker, “Girl Who Was Filmed Singing For A Veteran” – almost a parody of the viral clip “Scooter Joe” – mocked Whitaker for his confrontational interview with Alex Jones.
Co-anchor Michael Che’s relationship with his “Scooter Joe” character also came into the spotlight during the skit.
The “SNL” weekend primetime premiere, hosted by Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman, was broadcast live coast-to-coast on NBC. It delivered an 11.9 overnight rating and 20 share in Nielsen ratings across the 44 metered markets, which the network said made it the highest rated season premiere in the 16 years Nielsen has been tracking “SNL” ratings.
(Updated 3:36 p.m. ET)
“SNL” opened the NBC season in impressive fashion by serving up a slew of biting political satire that left audiences and critics hungry for more.
Among the highlights: Melissa McCarthy mocked Joe Biden’s announcement of his 2020 run, quipping about the late-season cold open in 2017; Tina Fey made her highly anticipated appearance back as Sarah Palin, firing up the crowd at Studio 8H; and Alec Baldwin dusted off his Paul Ryan impression for the first time in a year.
In the end, Baldwin’s Ryan managed to beat out Melissa McCarthy’s Nancy Pelosi, who only had a one-week cameo. “I come back each season because we don’t have enough guests,” McCarthy quipped of her return.