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SNL’s ‘Impeachment Town Hall’ Funnier Than Expected
Larry David as Bernie Sanders, Woody Harrelson as Joe Biden, and Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris during the "DNC Town Hall" sketch on Saturday, September 28, 2019.
Photo by Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

“Saturday Night Live” is back, and that means more political sketch comedy. During the season 45 premier there was a sketch about an “impeachment town hall” in which the Democratic presidential candidates debated the potential impeachment of President Donald Trump.

“Good evening, I’m Erin Burnett,” says cast member Cecily Strong. “The Democratic candidates have united together and decided to handle the impeachment the only way they know how — with a muddled ten-person town hall debate.”

Strong then introduces the lower-tier candidates, starting with the “guy who tragically misread our enthusiasm for him, Beto O’Rourke.”

After being told there wouldn’t be time for him to “say a few words in 8th-grade Spanish,” O’Rourke, played by Alex Moffat, replies: “Lo siento in la biblioteca.”

A few brief gags follow — Andrew Yang noting that despite giving away cash, he’s still in sixth place, Cory Booker being told that he had only five words due to his poor standing in the polls, and Pete Buttigieg being a doormat.

Next up was Marianne Williamson, played by Chloe Fineman, “appearing live via astral projection.”

“Konichiwa, girlfriend,” exclaims Williamson while standing in front of what looks like a trippy screensaver. Williamson offers her take on the proceedings, stating that she would impeach Trump by capturing “his soul” inside a black crystal.

Strong finally gets to the “actual candidates,” beginning with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, played by Kate McKinnon, who lets the candidate off with a tepid joke about her librarian looks and soccer mom energy.

This is a similar tactic “SNL” used on Hillary Clinton in 2016, only really mocking her perceived wonkiness and over-prepared nature.

Up next, Sen. Bernie Sanders, once again played by comedian Larry David. “I’m so excited to be back, and to ruin things a second time,” Sanders says.

Some progressives feel that Sanders made the 2016 election more difficult for Hillary Clinton to win by playing too rough in the primary debates. Sanders supporters were also particularly loud in claiming that the DNC rigged the primary election for Clinton.

Vice President Joe Biden, played by Woody Harrelson with a strong set of pearly white veneers, opens with: “There’s no need to worry anymore. Daddy’s here, America. I see you, I hear you, I sniff you, and I hug you from behind. Now, as I ask anytime I walk into a room — where am I? And what the hell is going on here?”

This is an obvious play on the real Joe Biden’s reported disregard for personal space, as well as his apparent mental and physical decline on the trail. During the last Democratic debate, the candidate appeared to have an issue with his teeth, and during a town hall in early September, Biden’s eye suddenly filled with blood.

Strong then introduces Sen. Kamala Harris, played by veteran “SNL” alum Maya Rudolph, who says: “Now, Erin, that little girl that you just introduced, that little girl was me.”

This bit referenced the very first Democratic primary debate when Harris slammed Biden over desegregation busing.

The rest of the sketch featured several funny bits, including Harris repeatedly trying to be the leading lady for various legal TV shows, and Biden retelling his infamous “corn pop” story (with Harris claiming “that little corn pop was me”).

During closing statements, Biden had the line of the night: “Look, I’m like plastic straws. I’ve been around forever; I’ve always worked, but now you’re mad at me?”

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