‘SNL’ Cold Open Riffs on Trump Trial and His VP Picks

The 49th season finale of “Saturday Night Live” opened with James Austin Johnson as Donald Trump speaking at the barricades of a Manhattan courthouse, in a nod to Trump’s ongoing legal woes amid his presidential campaign.

During the sketch, Johnson as Trump spoke about his “weird and depressing” state at the courthouse, saying, “I don’t like being in court because they say very mean things about me as I’m trying to sleep.” (It was reported that Trump fell asleep in court during proceedings.) He goes on to say, “Now that my defense is supposed to begin on Monday, I would love to testify; I’m not afraid to testify at all, I’m just not going to out of fear.”

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He continues to say how he doesn’t want to go back to the White House, “But it appears people want to send me there.” Johnson’s Trump pokes fun at Trump’s rigged election claims, too. “For me, it’s much better for me to not win and say it was rigged.”

Making fun of Trump’s sexist comments about women (and how he once said Heidi Klum is “no longer a 10”), Johnson, as Trump says of a juror at his trial, “They call her juror 9, but to me, she’s like a six, baby.”

Johnson’s Trump then introduced three of his potential VP candidates. “We love to say ‘VP’, like ‘Veep’ with Elaine from ‘Seinfeld.’ She can’t dance!” He says he won’t announce his VP just yet. “In many ways, it will be determined by the winner of the Jake Paul-Mike Tyson fight.” Trump says he’s invited a few people from “my short bus––I mean my shortlist.”

He brings out South Carolina Governor Tim Scott (played by Devon Walker). “I’m here to help Trump win the Black vote,” he says. Trump adds, “I’m more popular than you among the Blacks, which is really saying something.” Walker, as Scott says, “Black people have called my support humiliating, but trust me, I am my own man!”

Trump then brings out South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (played by Heidi Gardner), wearing a red MAGA hat, holding a stuffed dog, and pointing a fake gun at the dog (a reference to her shooting a dog). “She shot a dog, which you really can’t do…but on the other hand, she shot a dog, which is pretty awesome.” Gardner, as Noem chimes in and says, “I kill goats, too!”

Finally, he wheels out his final VP pick, “The late great Hannibal Lecter!” Trump says, as Mikey Day as Hannibal Lecter is wheeled out in an orange jumpsuit and wearing the famous mask. “I think he’d really scare everybody at the border. “Get him out of here, he’s giving me Pence vibes,” says Trump, as Hannibal Lecter is then wheeled away.

Trump says it’s going to be “the summer of Trump. You’re gonna get that Trump espresso,” he sings in a reference to a Sabrina Carpenter song. Johnson, as Trump says he’ll be selling more Trump Bibles as well, along with a “Trump Torah.”

Trump finishes the cold open shouting, “In the words of my mentor, the late great Hannibal Lecter, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!”

This week’s “SNL” host is actor Jake Gyllenhaal, and Sabrina Carpenter stars as the week’s musical guest.

Watch the sketch below:

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