In its first episode after a hiatus, Saturday Night Live took aim not at Washington in its cold open, but at two cultural juggernauts that have dominated conversation in recent weeks: Game of Thrones and The Avengers.
The cold open began with a nod to Attorney General William Barr deciding to skip his scheduled appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, with an announcer saying the SNL cast decided to depart the “depressing” world of politics in favor of “the two things all Americans can get behind.”
Bringing back the tried-and-true Celebrity Family Feud format, Kenan Thompson returned as Steve Harvey “of House Mustache” to host teams made up of Avengers and Game of Thrones characters.
First, Thompson introduced the Avengers team: Thor (Alex Moffat), the “sexiest man at a Renaissance Fair;” Thanos (Beck Bennett) or “swole Grimace;” Okoye (Ego Nwodim) from Wakana or “Okie-dokie;” and Groot (Leslie Jones).
When it came time for the Westeros characters, Thompson had to take a swipe at the last episode, which many noted was difficult to see because it was so dark.
“I gotta be honest, I didn’t see the last episode,” Thompson said. “I watched it, but I couldn’t see it. You know it’s dark when you can’t even see the white people,” he said.
Representing George R. R. Martin’s world were: Brienne (Kate McKinnon), Tormund (Mikey Day), Melisandre (Cecily Strong), and Bran (Kyle Mooney).
The first match-up featured Thor versus Brienne, who were tasked with naming things that would appear on a bucket list.
McKinnon’s Brienne buzzed in first, saying she has “Jamie Lannister, one night, three hands, no rules” on her bucket list. Thor’s bucket list included reforming Asgard’s Rainbow Bridge and rebuilding Valhalla, which Thompson abbreviated to “some kind of white nonsense” and the Feud judges further shortened to “travel,” something that appeared on the board. So the game swung over to Thanos and the Avengers.
Thanos’ bucket list included getting off HGH, while Okoye wanted to just put on sweat pants and watch eight hours of Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club. Groot just said, “Bitch, I’m Groot.”
None of those things appeared on the board, so the game was tossed over to team Westeros to win, with Arya Stark (Melissa Villaseñor) showing up at the last minute.
“Well, Steve, as a battle approaches, and I stare into an endless night, there is but one thing a girl must do,” Arya said.
“Oh, say no more. I saw what you did in that episode,” Steve said. “Show me ... getting that booty!”
With that, the Game of Thrones team took the top answer on the board, setting themselves up for a win.
Thompson cut things off there, promising a Jocedi-themed duet with the Black Panther.
Unfortunately, the cast ended the cold open there, leaving all of us to imagine Steve Harvey and T’Challa harmonizing their way through “Come and Talk to Me.”