It started out familiar: a “Saturday Night Live” sketch centered on impersonations of political figures. But then it was rescued by something even more familiar: the show’s ability to wrangle real-life politicians to come on the show during an election season — which in this case yielded Senator Elizabeth Warren, who announced on Thursday that she was exiting the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The sketch — which led an episode hosted by Daniel Craig and featuring the musical guest the Weeknd — was framed as an episode of the Fox News program “The Ingraham Angle,” with Kate McKinnon playing its host, Laura Ingraham. She traded quips with her cast mates Cecily Strong (playing Jeanine Pirro), Mikey Day and Alex Moffat (as Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump) and the “S.N.L.” veteran Darrell Hammond, who returned in his recurring role as the “Hardball” host Chris Matthews (for what could be his last go-round as that character).
Then McKinnon introduced Warren, playing herself, and asked her how she’d been since dropping out of the race.
“You know, I’m doing just fine,” Warren said. “My friends and family have been so supportive. They’ve been calling nonstop, asking: ‘Are you OK? What do you need? Were you electable?’ That kind of thing.”
Reminded that Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders were both still hoping for her endorsement, Warren indicated that she was not yet ready to choose one of them. “It’s tough,” she said. “Maybe I’ll just pull a New York Times and endorse them both.”
Warren said she had no regrets about how she had run her campaign. “We built a wide coalition of teachers, preschool teachers, middle-school teachers, and teachers’ pets,” she said. “And not only did I not accept money from billionaires, I got to give one a swirly on live TV.”
In the meantime, Warren said, she was practicing a regimen of self-care: “Hanging out with my dog, Bailey. Prank-calling big banks. Drag-racing Subarus. Avoiding Twitter.”
Just as the sketch seemed to be wrapping up, McKinnon raced onto the screen, now dressed as Warren, whom she had impersonated many times. “I wanted to put on my favorite outfit to thank you for all that you’ve done in your lifetime,” McKinnon told her.
Warren replied, “I’m not dead — I’m just in the Senate.”
Opening Monologue of the Week
At the start of the week, Daniel Craig was getting ready to appear on “Saturday Night Live” in conjunction with his new James Bond movie, which was scheduled to premiere in April. On Wednesday, those plans changed when the film, “No Time to Die,” was postponed until November amid concerns about the worldwide spread of the coronavirus.
That didn’t prevent Craig from having some fun with his superspy character, as he introduced what he said would be a clip from “No Time to Die” but was instead a lengthy Bond parody in which 007 can’t quite get away from a craps table where he’s having a lucky streak.
(And if you were hoping Craig would poke fun at his hit mystery caper “Knives Out,” he did that, too, in a sketch in which Beck Bennett played the accent coach training him to play the Southern detective Benoit Blanc.)