‘Saturday Night Live’ welcomes Bad Bunny and Mick Jagger
By Dave Itzkoff
The chaos surrounding efforts to choose a new speaker of the House may be less than ideal for the nation, but it’s practically a gift to “Saturday Night Live,” which satirized House Republicans’ political turmoil in an opening sketch this weekend.
The broadcast began with Mikey Day playing Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who Friday lost a secret ballot vote to remain the Republicans’ nominee for the speakership after losing a third vote for the position on the House floor.
Speaking on a phone in his office, a seemingly calm Day said, “No, I didn’t win, honey. No, not this time either. It’s OK. I’m feeling good.” Then after completing the call he broke the receiver in two.
“Some of us are here to actually serve the American people,” Day said angrily. “All I want to do is get Congress back to work so I can shut it down again.”
An assistant (Heidi Gardner) offered him a new phone and introduced a visitor: Rep. George Santos (Bowen Yang), who was holding a baby.
Asked why he had the baby, Yang answered, “No one seems to know.” He handed it to Gardner and said, “Just put him in an Uber.”
Offering his consolations to Day, Yang said, “I want you to know I voted for you and — get this — so did Shoshanna Loggins.” Day asked, “Who’s that?” Yang responded, “Also me.”
Day asked him if he should try running for speaker one more time. “Well, look, I would be lying if I said yes,” Yang answered. “So, yes.” Then he took a call on his cellphone that he said was from Tupac: “Girl, I know,” Yang said into his phone. “Jada is crazy.”
Day received a call from Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado (Chloe Fineman), who offered her support while a hand reached in from off-screen and groped her. “Are you out somewhere?” Day asked her. “Yeah,” Fineman said, “I gotta go. I’m at the theater seeing ‘Aladdin.’ ”
Finally, Day was visited in his office by former President Donald Trump (James Austin Johnson). “Yoo-hoo, is this the loser’s office?” Johnson asked as he knocked and entered.
“You endorsed me, and then you kind of disappeared,” Day told him.
“Yeah, well, that’s because I prefer the Jordans who win, OK?” Johnson said. “Like the great Michael Jordan or the even greater Jordin Sparks. ‘No Air,’ remember that? Now that was a song. Tell me how I’m supposed to breathe with no air? You can’t. You can’t do it.”
Johnson boasted he’d make a great speaker himself if he weren’t otherwise occupied. “Sadly, I’ll be too busy campaigning, traveling from city to city, visiting their beautiful courtrooms,” he said.
Opening Monologue of the Week
Bad Bunny, the Puerto Rican pop star who was both host and musical guest this weekend, continued a recent “SNL” tradition of Spanish-speaking hosts who delivered a portion of their monologue in Spanish. As he spoke, a satirical caption appeared below him on the screen that read “[SPEAKING IN NON-ENGLISH],” tweaking a (nonhumorous) incident in which similar captions were shown at the 2023 Grammy Awards when Bad Bunny performed and during his acceptance speech for the Best Música Urbana Album.
“Not again, please,” Bad Bunny said, and the caption below him changed to say “[SPEAKING A SEXIER LANGUAGE]”.
As a surprise guest, Bad Bunny was joined by Pedro Pascal, star of “The Mandalorian” and “The Last of Us,” who translated some of the host’s remarks into English and offered him advice on connecting with the audience.
“Audiences love it when you show an embarrassing photo of yourself,” Pascal suggested, and the screen displayed a beefcake-y photo of Bad Bunny.
“I’m sorry; how is that embarrassing?” Pascal asked. “Because I forgot to put on clothes,” Bad Bunny answered. (If that’s not enough Pascal content for you, he returned later in the night for a sketch in which he reprised a past role as Marcello Hernández’s wryly judgmental mother.)
Filmed Segment of the Week
Even rarer for “SNL,” a filmed segment called “La Era del Descrubimento (The Age of Discovery)” was presented entirely in Spanish.
It featured Bad Bunny as a 16th-century Spanish monarch, Hernández as his son, and Day and “SNL” alum Fred Armisen as explorers who have come to share the wonders of un nuevo mundo to their unimpressed rulers. A turkey is described as having “testicles on its face,” while the king and prince recoil at the sight of a pumpkin: “That melon has herpes!” they scream.
Celebrity Cameo of the Week
No disrespect intended to Pascal or to Lady Gaga (who popped up to introduce Bad Bunny’s first musical performance), but we’ll give the edge to Rolling Stones lead singer and longtime Lorne Michaels pal, Mick Jagger, making the latest in a long string of “SNL” appearances that stretch back to the late 1970s.
Jagger was a beast of burden in two sketches tonight: once in a fake mustache, playing a cackling character in a Spanish-language telenovela, and later on playing a lusty Lothario hiding out in a convent. If his comedy career doesn’t work out, there’s always rock music.
Weekend Update jokes of the week
Over at the Weekend Update desk, anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che riffed on President Joe Biden’s diplomatic efforts during the Israel-Hamas War, and Republicans’ struggles to choose a new Speaker of the House.
In what many people are calling a high point of his term, President Biden gave multiple speeches this week in which he issued the same strong warning to anyone thinking about attacking Israel. And here was his message:
(The screen showed a video montage of Biden saying, “Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.”)
I won’t. I really like that Biden only needs one word to get his point across. He’s basically the Groot of presidents. But to give you an idea of how effective “Don’t” is, it’s the same thing Biden says to his dog right before it bites another Secret Service agent.
Also while he was in Israel, Biden said the Hamas attack was like “15 9/11s.” OK, you can’t go somewhere to calm people down and then start rating things in numbers of 9/11s. That is not a calm scale. It would be like if your doctor gave you Ambien, and said, “This will make you sleepier than 20 Cosbys.”
Jim Jordan, seen here describing how he attacks the nipple, is no longer the nominee for House speaker after Republicans dropped him Friday, which by the way he’s used to because he was dropped a lot as a child. Potential new candidates for speaker include Tom Emmer, Kevin Hern, Jack Bergman and six more candidates who are clearly George Santos.
(The screen showed six images of George Santos in obvious disguises.)