It’s now been two months without any kind of direct presidential parody on “SNL.” Since the Christmas episode last year, the show hasn’t had anyone on to portray Joe Biden, nor has it brought back Maya Rudolph as Vice President Kamala Harris. And for those keeping track, that continued on the latest episode.
Fortunately, this season’s MVP Aidy Bryant showed up to once again deliver a delightfully brutal parody of Ted Cruz, this time mocking the Texas senator for taking a Cancun vacation while his constituents froze, then lying about it, and then hiding behind his daughters to deflect criticism.
The bit came during a cold open that capitalized on the newfound (and highly warranted) sympathy people have for Britney Spears, with Chloe Fineman as Britney in a slightly amusing fake talk show gag where people come on to apologize for their dumb mistakes.
Bryant’s Ted Cruz showed up in cornrows and baggy clothes, basically the basic rich white vacation look, to offer up a barely believable apology for the hilarious disaster of a week he had.
“I’m not tan. I just cried myself red over my fellow Texans. And that’s why I drink in their honor,” Bryant’s Cruz said implausibly.
“Texas is going through a huge criseseses,” Fineman’s Britney replied.
“oh yeah, yeah, it’s real bad,” Bryant’s Cruz said.
“You literally abandoned it and flew the Cancun for a family vacaysh,” Britney continued.
“That’s right. And now I’m in a little bit of hot water, which I’m told is the thing no one in Texas has,” Cruz continued.
“Would you like to apologize?” asked Britney.
“Absolutely,” Bryant’s Cruz said “I deeply regret my actions over the last couple days. Mostly flying United. I’m sorry. I’m pretty bad at human stuff.:
Then, asked if Cruz knows “why people are calling you a coward,” Cruz replied: “‘Coward’ is the nicest word I heard. But let me ask you this. Would a coward have the cojones to blame his actions on his young daughters?”
“You’ve blamed your daughters?” Britney asked. (He really did, by the way.)
“Oh yeah, the whole trip was the girls’ idea. They love Cancun. There’s so much for kids to do. The topless beach. Shots at Senor Frog’s. Swimming with sick dolphins. They love it,” Bryant’s Cruz replied.
After Bryant killed it yet again as Cruz, she was followed by Pete Davidson doing a pretty decent NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to largely talk about the scandal he’s having over mismanagement of his COVID-19 response.
They were then joined by Cecily Strong portraying actress Gina Carano, who was fired from “The Mandalorian” for making anti-Semitic comments and spreading election fraud falsehoods on social media.
Strong’s Carano said she was there to “the opposite” of apologize. “I’ve done nothing wrong. No one can even explain what I did wrong! Explain it!” she said.
“Ok. on Instagram you said conservatives have it as bad as people living in Nazi Germany,” Britney replied.
“OK, congrats, you explained it. Look, I never would have made that Nazi comparison if I’d known everybody was gonna be such a Nazi about it,’ Strong’s Carano replied.
Good stuff, but we’re a bit confused about how yet again the cold open sketch didn’t touch on anything related to the goings on in the White House at all. To be honest, the lack of any Biden stuff so far feels weird, if only because at this point in 2017, Alec Baldwin had already appeared twice as Donald Trump, including when he hosted the Feb. 11, 2017 episode, less than 3 weeks after Trump was sworn in. In fact, Baldwin showed up to play Trump a total of 8 episodes during the 2017 portion of the 2016-2017 season.
Sure, Joe Biden is a drastically different president whose administration isn’t defined by constant xenophobic racism and bigoted attacks on vulnerable people, and so far he hasn’t violated any international or domestic laws. He also didn’t staff his administration with a collection of weirdos and grifters. So perhaps that’s why “SNL” has decided not to give Joe Biden the same wall-to-wall coverage it gave Trump. Still, it’s really weird that the show spent 4 years covering the last president regularly, only to do the exact opposite now. Shrug emoji? On the bright side, at least there isn’t any awkward attempts to draw false equivalence between Biden and whatever lunatic stuff the right wing is doing — as SNL unsuccessfully tried to do last fall.
Whatever the reason for the total avoidance of Biden so far, the take away for “SNL” viewers is that it’s still unclear if Alex Moffat, who was revealed as the surprise choice to replace Jim Carrey in the role back in December, will be the regular Biden during his presidency. Guess we’ll have to wait on the answer a bit longer.