This week, the writers and actors of “Saturday Night Live” tackled the recent flurry of negative media coverage surrounding former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been under fire following recent allegations by multiple women that he made uncomfortable physical contact with them.
In the sketch, two campaign strategists bring in a “sensitivity training” expert to help Biden (played by former cast member Jason Sudeikis) with his “touchy-feely” ways.
After being told that his contact with women can be considered inappropriate, Biden defends himself:
You guys know that I’m a tactile politician, right? Okay? I’m a hugger, I’m a kisser, I’m a little bit of a sniffer, okay? But the last thing I ever want to do is offend anyone.
This mirrors the comment the real Joe Biden made in a video posted to social media in early April, in which he stated:
I’ve always tried to make a human connection. That’s my responsibility, I think. I shake hands, I hug people, I grab men and women by the shoulders and say, “You can do this.” And whether they’re women, men, young, old, it’s just the way I’ve always been. It’s the way I try to show them I care about them and I’m listening. And over the years, knowing what I’ve been through – the things that I’ve faced – I’ve found that scores, if not hundreds, of people have come up to me and reached out for solace and comfort, something, anything, that might help them get through the tragedy they’re going through. And so, it’s just who I am.
Back to “SNL.” When sensitivity training expert Gwen (played by Kate McKinnon) enters the room, Biden greets her by gently grabbing the back of her head, placing his forehead against hers, and nearly touching noses.
“This is exactly the kind of thing that I’m here to prevent,” Gwen says uncomfortably.
Biden excuses his nose contact because after doing a 23andMe DNA test, like “Lizzie Warren,” he discovered that he’s 1% “Eskimo.”
Both the forehead touch and “Eskimo kisses” are things the real Biden is alleged to have done, according to two women who have come forward.
Throughout the sketch, Biden keeps asking Amazon’s “Alexa” to play songs like “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” by Lou Rawls, and “Legs” by ZZ Top.
Gwen sits Biden down to teach him proper meet-and-greet etiquette, but the former vice president continues to make things uncomfortable, suggesting tickling someone’s palm during a handshake, or giving them raspberries on their stomach. He even wonders aloud if doing the “lift” from the film “Dirty Dancing” is appropriate.
After the failed etiquette sit-down lesson, Gwen brings in female Democratic voters with whom Biden can simulate normal greetings. When the first woman enters, Biden, unsure of what to do, cradles her face. Then, realizing that’s inappropriate, he tries grabbing her head and giving her a noogie. The woman punches Biden in the stomach and runs from the room.
Of course, because an “SNL” sketch mocking a Democrat wouldn’t be complete without a counterpunch to Trump, Biden and company bring up the president’s “Access Hollywood” tape.
GWEN: She’s looking for a candidate that can beat Donald Trump.
BIDEN: Oh, you mean the guy who actually bragged about assault on tape?
ADVISOR: Yes, but unlike his voters, your voters actually care.
Biden is then introduced to the final female voter, played by Leslie Jones, who turns the tables on inappropriate conduct.
“Wait a second. I know who you are. Oh my god! You Obama’s granddaddy!” Jones screams as she bear hugs Biden, then proceeds to smack and grab his butt, much to Biden’s enjoyment.
Gwen then asks if Biden has learned anything, to which Biden replies: “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, not really, no. But, you know, the important thing I think is that I’m listening, I hear you, and I feel you. I feel you. So, come on, let’s hug it out!”
Again, this mirrors the real Biden’s recent remarks in which he said he was “sorry” for not “understand[ing] more,” but then added: “I am not sorry for any of my intentions. I am not sorry for anything that I have ever done – I’ve never been disrespectful, intentionally, to a man or a woman. That’s not the reputation I’ve had since I was in high school, for God’s sake.”
Here’s the sketch: