In this week’s “Saturday Night Live” Cold Open, the show took a break from the impeachment inquiry to focus on the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates in a parody of an Iowa event attended by more than a dozen candidates this week.
In an unexpected twist, the “SNL” version of the Iowa Liberty and Justice Celebration — the state Democratic Party's major annual fundraiser — only highlighted Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (again played by Kate McKinnon).
“I am in my natural habitat, a public school on the weekend,” McKinnon’s Warren said. Warren was previously a law school professor at several well-known universities. McKinnon then said her version of a farewell to Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who withdrew his presidential bid Friday.
The “SNL” parody riffed on the tensions between Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden, which were front and center at the actual event. Hours after Warren announced her $20 trillion “Medicare for All” health care plan, which she said would require no increase in taxes for the middle class, Biden echoed the “no cost to the middle class” pitch on the Iowa stage when talking about his own plan. The former vice president had earlier said “mathematical gymnastics” would be needed to cover the costs of Warren’s plan, according to the Associated Press.
In the Cold Open, when asked by a stay-at-home stepdad (Alex Moffat) how her plan compared to Biden’s, McKinnon’s Warren answered that her “plan compares favorably in that it exists.”
“Mr. Bezos, the government is a little bit like Amazon Prime. You reap the benefits, you gotta pay an annual fee,” McKinnon says, after detailing how taxing large corporations like Amazon would fund the health care plan.
Cast members Cecily Strong, Melissa Villaseñor and Chloe Fineman also play attendees who question McKinnon’s Warren about her plan in the skit.
In her monologue, “Twilight” and “Charlie’s Angels” actress Kristen Stewart flips the traditional question-and-answer model so that she’s the one asking the questions.
“I’m gonna be real with you all — I don’t feel completely totally comfy just standing up here talking about myself,” Stewart says in explanation of the decision. “I end up sounding like a little angsty teen at a dinner table sometimes, like ‘Charlie’s Angel’s’ was probably the most fun I’ve ever had doing anything, but can I please be excused now?”
The Q&A session went intentionally south because of reluctant audience members and a too willing Pete Davidson. But David Mooney and Beck Bennet interrupt the awkward moment to join Stewart on stage with blonde hair and outfits inspired by the actress’ now-signature look.
In this week’s "Weekend Update" segment, hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che focus on the non-impeachment inquiry related news circling President Donald Trump and his circle, like the president’s plans to change his official residence from New York to Florida because of high taxes. Jost joked that there might be other motivations behind the move.
“You know what they say. If you can’t drain the stop, move to it,” Jost said.
Che said he didn’t blame Trump for wanting to move, especially considering the president was booed at a New York City UFC match at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.
“He gets booed everywhere he’s ever lived,” Che said. “Even Cosby can still play Philly.”
“Adorable 5-year-old kid genius” Riley Jensen (Melissa Villaseñor) also joined the segment to talk about the U.S. Air Force's record-breaking spacecraft. Jensen’s mom (Heidi Gardner) also sits behind the desk with some tough love and criticism for her daughter.
Vanetta and Wylene Starkie (McKinnon and Aidy Bryant) of Smokery Farms returned to talk about how Impossible plant-based foods, like Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, have affected the real meat industry. The Starkies claim they only sell meat from animals that were “individually verified to be stupid, bad, rude and talent-free.”
They also offer pescatarian options. “You know our fish has good flavors because it glistens and it stinks,” Vanetta said.
The Coldplay band members graced the stage Saturday in their sixth run as “SNL” musical guests.
Lead vocalist Chris Martin started the first set for “Orphans” from backstage and entered the front row audience seats as he sang the beginning of the song. Dancers replaced some audience members and held up song lyrics. Lead guitarist Jonny Buckland and guitarist Guy Berryman also played in the audience section before jumping on stage.
For Coldplay’s second stage of the night, Martin swapped his guitar for a piano for the band’s performance of “Everday Life.”
Both “Orphans” and “Everyday Life” are singles from Coldplay’s upcoming studio album, “Everyday Life,” which has an expected release date of Nov. 22, 2019.