“Saturday Night Live” took on Fox News’ coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the cold open of this week’s episode, complete with Donald Trump singing a romantic rendition of “My Funny Valentine” directly to Vladimir Putin.
The cold open introduced a telethon called the “Fox News Ukrainian Invasion Celebration Spectacular,” hosted by Tucker Carlson (played by Alex Moffat, introducing himself as being “like if a pair of boat shoes came to life”) and Laura Ingraham (Kate McKinnon). The duo kicked off the festivities by acknowledging Fox News had gotten into a little bit of trouble with their coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“I kept asking, ‘Why do we hate Putin? Aren’t liberals in America even worse?,” Moffat’s Carlson said, as the two pointed to Fox News’ coverage leading up to Russia’s invasion, during which many pundits downplayed a potential move on Ukraine.
As for the focus of the telethon, Ingraham said, “We’re raising money for the real victims of this invasion: the oligarchs.” She then threw to James Austin Johnson’s Donald Trump answering telephones, where he was seen rambling about Rihanna and whales to an unseen caller.
Back on the main stage, Bowen Yang made an appearance as Steven Seagal, who noted he would be honoring Putin “by performing a Tae Kwon Do exhibition.”
Another cutaway to Trump found him telling a caller about his favorite foods. “My favorite food is probably bread, and more specifically, bun,” he said.
And what would a telethon be without a musical number? Carlson and Ingraham invited Kimberly Guilfoyle (Cecily Strong) and a clearly buzzed Donald Trump Jr. (Mikey Day) to sing a duet “in honor of Russia and Ukraine coming together,” and they launched into a Russia-leaning rendition of “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born.”
Carlson and Ingraham then teased telethon viewers with some of the prizes they could win, which included “tickets to see Matt Gaetz do a live reading of his favorite Russian novel, ‘Lolita.’”
But the funniest musical number was saved for last, as Trump left the phone bank and made a direct address to Putin. “You is smart, you is kind, you is important,” he said into the camera at the onset in a nod to a line from the 2011 film “The Help” before singing “My Funny Valentine” directly to the Russian dictator. “I love you, Vlad,” he added before the cast broke into the iconic “Live from New York it’s Saturday night!”
Watch the full cold open in the video above.