‘SNL’ Cold Open Takes on Rittenhouse Verdict

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“Saturday Night Live” took on the Kyle Rittenhouse acquittal in its cold open, with Cecily Strong as Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro weighing on the verdict with the trial’s controversial judge, dueling political commentators and former President Donald Trump.

“That loveable scamp was put through a nightmare of a trial,” Strong as Pirro said. She noted that he was involved in a shooting that killed two men and wounded another because he had taken the patriotic step of “protecting an empty used car lot in somebody else’s town.”

“SNL” regular Mikey Day played Judge Bruce Schroeder, whose comments and actions from the bench raised concerns about his impartiality. Day as the judge asserted that none of his moves “gave my client an unfair advantage in any way.” When Pirro noted his use of “client” rather than defendant, the judge replied, “Oh yeah, I keep doing that.”

Chloe Fineman and Chris Redd played two liberal pundits who were brought on to debate Pirro. When Fineman’s character expressed idealistically, “This is not who we are,” Redd’s character responded, “I feel like it is.”

Alex Moffat made a brief appearance as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in a scene that spoofed McCarthy’s long speech in Congress last week as he tried to slow the passage of President Biden’s groundbreaking infrastructure spending plan. Moffat’s McCarthy stood at a podium and flipped a water bottle and accused Democrats of “trying to flip this thing around.”

After Pirro took a shot at President Biden for under going a colonoscopy last week (“socialized butt play paid for by your tax dollars,” as she put it), Judge Jeannine introduced “the real muchacho who got this done,” President Donald Trump, as played by new “SNL” recruit James Austin Johnson.

“People are saying nobody did more for infrastructure than me and those people are people who are me,” Johnson as Trump said.

Judge Jeanine egged him on until Strong broke into the iconic introduction “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night.”

The episode is hosted by actor Simu Liu, star of Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” Musical guest is Saweetie.

Liu’s monologue noted he’s Marvel’s first “openly Chinese superhero” and that he is only the fourth Chinese person to host “SNL.”

Liu, who was born in China and grew up in Canada, noted his path to landing his big breakthrough role in “Shang-Chi,” which was released in September. He recalled his early years working children’s birthday parties in a “Spider-man suit from Walmart.” He also remembered a particularly tough kid named Trevor who kept kicking him and accusing him of not actually being Spider-man.

Addressing that kid now all grown up, Liu roared, with arms open, “I’m Shang-Chi, bitch!”


— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) November 21, 2021

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