The topic of this week’s Saturday Night Live cold open seemed as predetermined at this point as anything in our tenuous existence. The final presidential debate of the 2020 election was an easy guess, and having Jim Carrey and Alec Baldwin locked in to play Joe Biden and Donald Trump, respectively, made it inevitable the show would start with a recreation of Thursday’s events in Nashville.
This time, however, the sketch followed suit from what actually happened on stage: a quieter, mostly more understandable debate that was well-moderated by Kristen Welker. Maya Rudolph, who usually plays vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, played Welker on the night and, like on Thursday, was complimented for it by Baldwin’s Trump. Who also, mind you, called Welker by several other names of female women of color.
This week’s guest who didn’t actually appear at the debate was Kate McKinnon’s Rudy Giuliani, who started by making a… suggestive gesture with their back turned to the camera.
“No, no, it’s not what it looks like,” McKinnon said. “My microphone was stuck… on my balls.”
Rudy seemed as confused to be there as anyone would be, but McKinnon did manage to directly reference his already-infamous appearance in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.
“Is this another Borat?” McKinnon’s Giuliani said. “You have to tell me if it’s another Borat.”
The phrases “bird guacamole” and “Joe Biden is from Kenya” all came up, as did two references to Biden’s love of trains. Fittingly, the debate moderator was apparently playing Joe Biden bingo throughout the entire thing, which is basically what the cold open amounts to on SNL these days. The sketch certainly referenced some things that happened during the debate on Thursday, and a few that did not. But by the end of it, win or lose, a few boxes get checked off and everyone gets to move on.