Saturday Night Live never met a cameo it didn’t like. That counts doubly if the cameo is a former cast member and even more so if it’s a political sketch.
On Saturday night, they pulled out all the stops for a cameo-filled Democratic Debate sketch, bringing everyone from Maya Rudolph to Fred Armisen to Woody Harrelson to Larry David to Rachel Dratch to Studio 8H for some political skewering. Melissa Villaseñor kicked things off with a Rachel Maddow impression, as the debate moderator, before jumping into the madness of the debate.
Current cast members got their chance to shine as well, with Kate McKinnon bringing out her well-honed Elizabeth Warren impression with signature “Mom hosting Thanksgiving energy” and sending up Warren’s tendency to bring up her Native American ancestry. Colin Jost also reprised his casting as Mayor Pete Buttigieg, mocking his lack of traction with black voters.
Chris Redd also brought back his Cory Booker impression, while new cast member Bowen Yang offered up a fresh face with his take on presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Cecily Strong introduced another new impression, portraying Tulsi Gabbard with Cruella De Ville inspired villainous glee.
Rudolph returned to play Kamala Harris, a role she first debuted on this season’s premiere as “America’s fun aunt.” Rudolph as Harris jokingly attempted to turn herself into a meme, referencing everything from the recent “Gonna tell my kids this was…” meme to the “Ermahgerd” meme to the “Lady Yelling at Cat” meme.
Larry David returned as Bernie Sanders, a role he first took on during the run-up to the 2016 election during Sanders’ first run at the Democratic ticket. He referenced Billy Joel lyrics and sent-up Sanders’ man-of-the-people image, claiming he took the city bus to the emergency room.
Another SNL vet introduced a new impression to the proceedings when Rachel Dratch joined in the fun as Amy Klobuchar, shaking her head to replicate Klobuchar’s “signature quivering bang.”
Harrelson returned to his take on Joe Biden, a role he’s played several times since he hosted the 45th season premiere earlier this fall. He leaned on similar jokes of being an out-of-touch candidate, including sending up an actual moment from this past week’s debate when Biden stated he had the support of the “only African-American woman ever elected to the Senate” despite sharing the stage with Harris, who corrected him stating, “The other one is here.”
Host Will Ferrell also brought a new political impression (though his take on “W” will always hold a special place in our hearts), taking on “billionaire” Tom Steyer in an unblinking (literally) portrayal of the candidate.
Fred Armisen rounded out the list of former cast member cameos, returning as former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, an impression he often trotted out to hilarious effect while still on the show. Armisen mocked Bloomberg’s recent entry into the presidential race and sipped from a Big Gulp (Bloomberg famously banned sugary drinks over 16 ounces from being sold at food-service establishments in NYC).
The sketch showcased the overcrowded race for the Democratic ticket and the wide range of personalities on tap, while also skewering the favored talking points and tics of many of the candidates.
Watch the clip above for more. Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.
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