In this week’s cold open during “Saturday Night Live,” President Joe Biden got advice from an unexpected source on the crisis in Ukraine: TikTok creators.
James Austin Johnson was back in an Oval Office setting as Biden while Kate McKinnon returned as White House press secretary Jen Psaki. A group of representative TikTok personalities were seated on the two divans in the familiar setting for presidential meetings.
Taking viewers behind closed doors via the actual Ukraine war briefing meeting held on March 10 with TikTok influencers on Zoom, “SNL” cut down the number of participants to only a few from the real-life 30 who were given top intelligence on the Russian invasion to target disinformation.
“I suggested it as a joke, and then it actually happened,” dead panned Kate McKinnon as White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
Johnson’s Biden joked about his lack of familiarity with the cutting-edge of social media. “I’m the landline of Presidents,” he said.
As various social media sites are going down in Russia, TikTok has been proven a presence of news for many over in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s backyard about what is happening in the war.
As an “actress from the CW,” cast member Chloe Fineman suggested “poems” as the way to attack Putin.
“Oh no, it’s that girl,” lamented McKinnon’s Psaki.
When the idea was shut down, Fineman’s character hopped on the “Here are five tips to defeat Putin” trend and started pointing to non-existent text.
Chris Redd made an appearance as musician Jason Derulo, who could only contribute to the conversation by repetitively singing his name.
Then Bowen Yang showed up with a plunger stuck to his chest as he started a surprisingly inspiring speech.
“The idea of asking TikTok stars how to fight Russia might sound like a joke, but remember, they said the same thing about the radio in World War II,” Yang proclaimed over inspirational speech music.
“Never underestimate the importance of new technology, and how it reaches young people in ways you can never understand,” Yang continued.
“TikTok isn’t some childish gimmick, it has more power and more influence than the nightly news,” he went on to say as the camera continued to move in closer to plunger on his chest.
Actress Zoë Kravitz tonight made her debut appearance as host of “Saturday Night Live,” speaking in her opening monologue about her new Warner Bros. film, “The Batman.”
“In the movie, I play Catwoman—sorry, ‘The Catwoman’,” Kravitz joked. “To prepare for the role, I watched the movie musical ‘Cats’ every day for a year, which is actually the same way I heard Joaquin Phoenix prepared to play the Joker.”
McKinnon crashed the monologue, approaching the stage in a leather suit with pointy cat ears. “Somebody out here talking about cats?” asked McKinnon.
“Hi, I was just doing my monologue. You’re also Catwoman?” asked Kravitz.
“Yes, I’m Catwoman from the 1990s, the one with the whip. You know, like how cats have,” deadpanned McKinnon.
McKinnon continues to explain her origin story, “I fell out of a window onto a pile of cats. They licked me back to life and now I dress like Sandy from a porno version of ‘Grease’.” “It’s still called, ‘Grease’.”
It wasn’t too long after that her monologue got interrupted by another former Catwoman played by Ego Nwodim. Even a cat lady, played by Aidy Bryant, had to join in on the fun.
In “Maid of Honor,” Kravitz plays Sara, the bride’s (Cecily Strong) best friend, who accidentally lets the new husband know what he’s got himself into during the maid of honor’s toast.
As she is listing off the things we “all” do during her speech— enabling drunk driving, seeing your friend’s dad naked, killing someone — Sara’s list becomes much darker as the sketch goes on.
The comedy trio “Please Don’t Destroy” planned to surprise Kravitz with a cat, for her role as Catwoman, but it doesn’t go as expected.
Chaos ensues as the group tears apart the office while searching for the cat, and in the process they even find Paul Dano, who plays The Riddler in “The Batman” hiding under the couch.
In the subtle and creepy appearance, Dano briefly comes out from under the couch to help search for Kravtiz’s furry friend and once the cat is found and safe, he disappears right back under the couch even as the group protests.
News segment “Weekend Update” kicked off with co-anchor Colin Jost mentioning how this week is the two year anniversary since the first shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic.
“This week marks two years since the beginning of the first COVID lockdown and let’s just say some people have handled the stress better than others,” he joked as Putin’s photo appeared on screen beside him.
Jost continued, “Russia has passed a ‘fake news’ law that makes it illegal for any organization to report information that contradicts what the government says,” he continued, “which explains the recent headline, ‘6’5″ Putin Not Insane.’”
Co-anchor Michael Che moved on to discuss the alarming high gas prices across the United States.
Che joked that oil has become “so expensive, that America, we might have to move back in with our ex,” adding, “Come on, Iraq. you know we never stopped loving you, baby.”
Jost talked about the backlash against Disney’s initial silence on Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
“Florida governor Ron DeSantis, seen here waving COVID into the club, attacked Disney for opposing the state’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, calling the company a woke corporation,” Jost added. “Disney denied the claims of wokeness with roughly 90 years of cartoons.”
“SNL” will return after a short break.