After two weeks off the air, “Saturday Night Live” wasted no time diving back into politics. The show’s cold open focused on many of the claims being made about the caravan of Central Americans — what The Washington Post’s Michael E. Miller called “a sea of weary men, women and children, borne forward in waves by nothing more than their blistered, bleeding and bandaged feet” — slowly trudging to the United States border. Many in the caravan say they plan to seek asylum.
With the midterm elections nearing, President Donald Trump has painted those in the caravan as enemies of the United States. He’s called the caravan “an invasion” and claimed that it includes “unknown Middle Easterners,” criminals and “very tough fighters.” He has said that he may send up to 15,000 U.S. troops to the Mexico border.
“SNL’s” cold opens tend to revolve around the week’s news and often offers nearly play-by-play re-creations of things Trump has said or done. This week, with no guest actors, it chose a different route and placed Fox News in its crosshairs.
The show imagined an episode of conservative commentator Laura Ingraham’s show “The Ingraham Angle.” Kate McKinnon takes on the role of Ingraham and discusses the caravan with various guests, including fellow Fox host Jeanine Pirro (Cecily Strong) and former Wisconsin sheriff David Clarke Jr. (Kenan Thompson).
Throughout the sketch, the three offer up absurd “facts” about the caravan in a satire that felt almost like reality. For example, “SNL’s” Ingraham describes the caravan as “vicious.” It is made up “of dozens, maybe millions of illegal immigrants ... headed straight for you and your grandchildren,” she adds. “And that is not fear-mongering. That is just the truth.”
As the talking heads discuss the caravan, they keep cutting to what they claim is live footage of it — but is really just news footage of a store being overrun by people, crabs walking to the ocean, and a clip from the Brad Pitt zombie movie “World War Z.”
“SNL’s” Pirro appears first, saying the caravan is composed of “everyone you’ve ever seen in your nightmares, Laura. It’s got Guatemalans, Mexicans, ISIS, the Menendez brothers, the 1990 Detroit Pistons, Thanos and several babadooks.”
She then backs Trump’s (actual) claim that the caravan includes Middle Easterners, though she uses a different phrase for them: “This caravan’s got hella Aladdins. They took the very common direct flight from Iran to Guatemala. They claimed their elephants as ‘service animals’ and then rode them straight into Mexico. It almost makes too much sense.”