Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon has been praised for her spot-on impression of Sen. Elizabeth Warren for the past few months. But Saturday night, she got the opportunity to give her impression the ultimate test: Playing the senator opposite the real Warren.
The show’s cold open began with McKinnon as Fox News host Laura Ingraham, complaining about the coronavirus. She began her monologue by accusing Democrats of creating panic around the virus to discredit President Donald Trump, saying, “The left continues to wage its deceitful, dishonest, and frankly gay smear campaign against President Trump.”
She then ridiculed Democrats for stockpiling groceries and other necessities — referencing recent reports of stores selling out of items like water and canned goods because of people’s panic-fueled shopping. She introduced a clip she said would prove her point: but instead of a viral video of people clearing out toilet paper in Costco, a video of Vin Diesel driving off an Abu Dhabi skyscraper in Furious 7 played.
Cecily Strong joined McKinnon, playing Judge Jeanine Pirro, and further dismissed the coronavirus. Strong said most people aren’t at risk of infection, “especially not our viewers, who skew elderly, are in bad health, live cloistered together in homes specifically for sick people, and have smoked their entire lives.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has, of course, noted that demographic is most at risk of coronavirus infection.
Strong’s Pirro was followed by a quick segment with Mikey Day’s Donald Trump Jr. and Alex Moffat’s Eric Trump. While the elder son tried to highlight his dad’s handling of the situation, Moffat remained clueless throughout the entire sequence, which ended with the younger son sticking a used thermometer from the park in his mouth.
And last but not least, McKinnon brought Darrell Hammond as Chris Matthews on the show, introducing him as the newest member of the Fox News family. When Hammond’s Matthews complimented McKinnon’s looks, then apologized — a reference to accusations of decades of sexist behavior that fueled Matthews’s departure from MSNBC in real life — McKinnon replied, “You can say whatever you want — it’s Fox.”
The real highlight of the show, however, came when McKinnon announced a special interview with Warren, who just dropped out of the 2020 Democratic primary. However, McKinnon didn’t interview herself — it was the real senator who appeared onscreen.
When asked about her post-primary life, Warren made a playful jab at the questions of electability that followed her during her entire campaign.
“I’m doing just fine, my friends and family have been so supportive,” she said. “They’ve been calling nonstop, asking, ‘Are you okay? What do you need? Were you electable?’”
The show took the time to highlight one of the most memorable moments of Warren’s campaign: her sharp attacks against Mike Bloomberg during each of his two presidential debate appearances. McKinnon introduced a video from one of the debates, but what actually played was a viral video of the senator’s dog Bailey holding on to a stolen burrito in his mouth. Rolling with the “mistake,” Warren said she was the dog and Bloomberg was the burrito.
Bailey legit just swiped someone’s burrito. pic.twitter.com/MWr6ZeiJa2— Gabrielle Farrell President Warren 2020 (her/s) (@FarrellGabriell) March 5, 2020
Later in the skit, Warren highlighted her debate performances one more time: “Not only did I not accept money from billionaires, I got to give one a swirly on live TV,” she said.
SNL also didn’t shy away from a question on the minds of many Democratic voters right now: Who will Elizabeth Warren endorse? To that, Warren replied, “It’s tough. Maybe I’ll just pull a New York Times and endorse them both,” referencing how the publication endorsed both her and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
And now that she’s off the campaign trail, Warren said she had more free time to dedicate to fun hobbies like “prank calling big banks, drag racing Subarus, and avoiding Twitter.”
As Warren began her closing comments, McKinnon joined her, impersonating the senator one last time. Dressed in the same blue blazer and hairstyle as Warren, McKinnon thanked the senator for her work, but Warren made it clear that she’d still be around.
“I’m not dead, I’m just in the Senate,” she said.
Although the cold open ended there, Warren made sure to spend a bit more quality time of-screen with her SNL double: