An All-Knowing Bill Walton Stole The Show On SNL’s ‘Weekend Update’

Saturday Night Live‘s ventures into the world of sports can be fairly hit or miss, but SNL has struck gold with some sports characters and impressions in recent years, particularly in Weekend Update segments. Kenan Thompson’s LaVar Ball stands out in particular, but this weekend James Austin Johnson debuted a new basketball impression that was startlingly spot-on, as he donned a tie-dye shirt and joined Michael Che on the Weekend Update desk as a prescient Bill Walton to talk about the Lakers.

Johnson really hits all the notes as Walton, particularly refusing to answer Che’s very simple question of “will the Lakers make the playoffs” in any direct manner. Walton calling a game from the future that no one else can see is also a very good bit, as he bounces back and forth between his stream of consciousness rambling and Lakers highlights no one else can see.

What makes the bit even more impressive is that Johnson apparently had no idea who Bill Walton was a few weeks ago when the writers pitched the idea to him, but spent the past few weeks watching Walton and doing some research to dial in a near-perfect impression.

Hopefully JAJ’s Walton will make a return appearance for the playoffs, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Bill brings him on his Throw It Down broadcast on the NBA App one day to drive Jason Benetti further into insanity.