With Alec Baldwin as U.S. President Donald Trump, new cast member Bowen Yang as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and actor Liev Schreiber as, well, a straight-faced Liev Schreiber — Saturday Night Live kicked off its 45th season with a cold open that was all about impeachment and whistleblowing.
The latest season opened up with Baldwin’s Trump taking a phone call with lawyer Rudy Giuliani, played by Kate McKinnon.
“Oh hi Mr. Trump, what’s new?” McKinnon-as-Giuliani asks.
“What do you mean what’s new, Rudy, I’m being impeached,” Trump says. “It’s the greatest presidential harassment of all time.”
The line clearly refers to the real Trump’s tweet from earlier this week, where he posted “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” on Twitter in response to the news of an impeachment inquiry.
McKinnon’s Giuliani attempts to pacify him, saying he’s “gotta relax” and “we’ve got nothing to worry about.”
“Nobody’s going to find out about our illegal side dealings with the Ukraine, or how we tried to cover up those side dealings, or how we planned to cover up the cover up,” McKinnon quips while making an appearance on in the skit.
Baldwin’s Trump then gets on the phone with U.S. Attorney General William Barr, played by Aidy Bryant, and they determine that the “sacrificial patsy that will do anything” is vice-president Mike Pence, played by Beck Bennett.
Yang, one of SNL’s newest cast members, also appears as Kim Jong-un. Trump asks him for advice on handling a whistleblower. Yang says with a chuckle: “That’s easy!” and suggests sending whistleblowers to the bottom of the ocean.
Chris Redd plays Kanye West in a phone call with Trump, where Baldwin’s character asks for West’s support and offers to bail out “Teriyaki 69” from jail — meaning Tekashi 6ix9ine, who was arrested last year on racketeering.
The skit ends with Baldwin’s Trump on a call with actor Liev Schreiber after another character suggests Trump knows exactly who to call if he wants someone to go away.
“Is this Ray Donovan?” Baldwin cautiously asks a slightly confused Schreiber, who has played the character on television. “The guy who takes care of stuff, wink wink?”
Schreiber goes on to break the news to Baldwin’s Trump that both his character Ray Donovan and Keanu Reeves’ John Wick, who Trump also suggests calling, are fictional characters.