SNL’s cold open see Biden turn to TikTok to solve Russia

TikTok (Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)
TikTok (Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images) /

For the second week in a row, Saturday Night Live‘s cold open attempted to find humor in the war in Ukraine. This time, SNL made President Joe Biden the star as he looked to TikTok for answers on Russia.

Last week, SNL’s cold open put the spotlight on Fox News and former President Donald Trump. Conservative support for Russia’s Vladimir Putin served as the inspiration for a sketch that saw Trump, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson fundraising for Russian oligarchs.

Saturday was the Democrats’ turn. Cast member James Austin Johnson traded in his Trump wig for a Biden one. He was joined by Kate McKinnon as Press Secretary Jen Psaki in a sketch that saw the 79-year-old Biden source military strategy from TikTok stars.

The sketch featured entertaining performances from Chloe Fineman, Jason Dismukes, Melissa Villasenor, and Bowen Yang. Check out SNL’s latest cold open below.

SNL’s cold opens continue to lean on James Austin Johnson

It’s difficult to recall when a featured player was as important to Saturday Night Live‘s season as James Austin Johnson has been in season 47. While some featured players struggle to get more than a minute of airtime, Johnson has appeared in nearly every cold open so far.

Johnson breathed new life into Saturday Night Live‘s version of President Donald Trump. Johnson’s stream-of-consciousness routine is a fresh take SNL desperately needed. And, it’s given the show more reasons to feature the former president at the top of the show.

Then, Johnson proved he could step up and fill the Joe Biden void — something else SNL needly badly. In the previous two seasons, Woody Harrelson, John Mulaney, Alex Moffat, and Jim Carrey were among those who played Biden to varying degrees of success.

This week’s cold open demonstrated that Johnson is more than capable of taking on the responsibility of parodying the president. As if that job wasn’t hard enough, it also makes it easier for Saturday Night Live to derive humor from the crisis in Ukraine. In a crowded, experienced cast, James Austin Johnson may already have the season 47 MVP locked up.

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What did you think of this week’s cold open? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.