The second episode of season 45 of “Saturday Night Live” continued the impeachment theme the show opened with in last week’s season premiere.
Vice President Mike Pence (played by Beck Bennett) gathers former New York City Mayor and President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani (Kate McKinnon), U.S. Attorney General William Barr (Aidy Bryant) and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” actor Matthew Broderick) in his office to “get their stories straight” on the events that spurred the impeachment inquiry.
After Bennett’s Pence worries that recently uncovered evidence about events after Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president further incriminates them, Bryant’s Barr began to read text messages between U.S. diplomats and a Ukrainian official.
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“This one says, ‘I think we should stop texting about the crimes and maybe tell the crimes over the phone so that the crimes don’t leave little crime footprints.”
The real exchange of text messages between U.S. and Ukrainian officials, which was released Friday by House Democrats, revealed that U.S. diplomats actively worked to push Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
In the “SNL” Cold Open, it becomes fairly obvious that the White House officials are more interested in saving their own skin as they find ways to distance themselves from the conversation. At one point, Bryant’s Barr uses the excuse of helping Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson (Kenan Thompson) set up his computer to slip out the room.
“Impeachment happens pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around you might miss it,” Broderick’s Pompeo says as he exits the room with a suitcase in hand. The line is a play on a quote from 1986 movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” in which Broderick starred.
This week’s host, “Fleabag” writer and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge, used her monologue to shift away from the impeachment inquiry.
Waller-Bridge shared how her success with “Fleabag” shows how women in Hollywood are being celebrated for talking about their sexual exploration.
“Back in the day, horny women were to be feared; now they’re given Emmys,” she said.
The host also said “Fleabag” fans often ask if she’s as “sexually depraved, foul-mouthed and dangerous” as her character. “I always have to say to them,’Yes.’” she said. “In fact, everything I write has a degree of truth.”
The actress joked that the real reason she penned “Fleabag” was that she wanted co-star Andrew Scott, who’s gay, to dress up as a priest and confess his love for her. “I don't care about the awards. I just want gay men to love me,” Waller-Bridge said to a chorus of laughter.
This week’s “Weekend Update” segment quickly returned to the episode’s opening theme.
Host Colin Jost started with Trump’s continued attacks against the media for its coverage of the impeachment inquiry. Jost also questioned Trump’s logic for going after Biden.
“You’re going after Joe Biden for corruption?” Jost asks. “The man lives in Delaware. He takes the train to work every day. If he’s stealing billions of dollars, he’s waiting a long time to spend it.”
“Are we sure it’s okay to make fun of this guy?” Che asked before comparing Trump to Lennie from “Of Mice and Men.”
Che also joked that even the president’s attempts to clear his name incriminate him.
“Trump keeps saying there was no quid pro quo, which means there was mad quid pro quo,” Che said. “Whenever a guy with like a 30-word vocabulary starts quoting the law, in Latin, it’s because he breaks that law all the time.”
Elizabeth Warren (Kate McKinnon) joined Jost and Che to celebrate raising the second most amount of money of her 2020 Democratic rivals in the third quarter. Warren relied on mostly small donations to raise the $24.6 million for her campaign. McKinnon’s Warren told Jost and Che that she doesn’t care if billionaires don't like her.
“Imma tell them the same thing my grandson told me when he took me to ‘Avengers: Infinity War’: This ain’t for.”
Bowen Yang sat down at the “Weekend Update” desk as a Chinese trade representative to talk about the country’s trade war with the United States.
“This is my time. I’m having my moment. I’m the Lizzo of China right now. Turns out I’m 100% that trade daddy,” Yang said, alluding to Lizzo’s song “Truth Hurts.”
Yang’s character also calls Trump out on his inability to fulfill his campaign promises.
“Look, Don Don. You wanna play ball with Big Red? Because we actually built our wall and you can see ours from space,” Yang said.
Mort Fellner (Mikey Day) also joins to give super-centenarian news on people over one hundred years old — if only it was good news.
Musical guest Taylor Swift performed two of the slower-tempo songs from her new album “Lover.” Swift — wearing a green dress and hoop earrings that matched her background and stage lights — first sang title track “Lover” as she played the piano. Her green sweater and hoop earrings coordinated with the stage’s green background and lighting, which washed over her as she crooned.
For her second set, Swift performed “False God.” The green stage theme was replaced by smoke machines, warm-tinted light bulbs, brick walls and sleek black material that make you believe Swift really is New York City, a comparison she makes in the song.