After a holiday season rife with political turmoil, ‘Saturday Night Live’ is back. The first episode of 2019 proved to be as pertinent as ever, immediately referencing President Donald Trump’s recent refusals to compromise on funding for a southern border wall, which has resulted in the longest government shutdown in US history.
The cold open placed Trump, played by Alec Baldwin, on ‘Deal or No Deal’, where he had to face various political bigwigs from both sides of the aisle. Nancy Pelosi, played by Kate McKinnon, reassures Trump with a wink and a smirk that she does not mean to place him under pressure. Trump was also confronted by Leslie Jones’ Maxine Waters, who changed Trump’s typically insulting opinion of her by reminding him of the subpoena power the House now has.
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The first ‘SNL’ host of 2019 was actress Rachel Brosnahan, known for her roles in HBO’s ‘Westworld’ and Amazon’s “The Marvelous Miss Mrs. Maisel.” Brosnahan was joined by cast members Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson and Aidy Bryant for a song about having fun in the new year, though the cast had trouble taking their mind off of the chaotic events of the world today.
On ‘Weekend Update’, Colin Jost and Michael Che broke down how the government shutdown has affected the country.
The pair also touched on the recent Buzzfeed story that alleged President Trump had directed his former lawyer to obfuscate facts regarding his involvement in a project in Russia. The story drew a rare response from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, which disputed some reporting in the story.
Also on the ‘Weekend Update’, Pete Davidson was joined by comedian John Mulaney to talk about their experience going to see Clint Eastwood’s new film, ‘The Mule’.
Mulaney and Davidson spoke of their somewhat unorthodox friendship. Davidson, never one to shy away from a daring joke, made fun of his own threats of suicide.
The two talk about the brilliance and absurdity of the film and its main character, a 90-year-old drug mule played by Eastwood.
Michigan rockers ‘Greta Van Fleet’ appeared as the musical guest, playing two of their songs ‘Black Smoke Rising’ and ‘You’re The One’.