8:58pm PT by Lauren Huff
Bill Murray Stars as Steve Bannon on 'SNL' Cold Open
A parody edition of Joe Scarborough (played by Alex Moffat) and his co-anchor/fiancée Mika Brzezinski's (Kate McKinnon) Morning Joe kicked off the first edition of NBC's Saturday Night Live in 2018, with none other than special guest Bill Murray appearing as Steve Bannon.
"Steve Bannon, the Bannon Cannon, magic, magic, magic, magic, the Bannon Dynasty is dawning," he told the hosts after coming out of a Grim Reaper hood (a nod to the long-running portrayal of the ousted former White House chief strategist as death itself). As for what he's working on next, Bannon said he's working on a web series, a skincare line and a line of wrinkled jackets.
As to whether he would rejoin politics, he said, "Yes, on the Cannon's terms as a kingmaker, I convinced this country to elect Donald [Trump], and I can do it again. I am auditioning candidates: Logan Paul, Martin Shkreli, the Subway guy Jared Fogle — he's back, he's electable. It's time for America to slide down the Bannon-ster." (Paul, a YouTube star, on Dec. 31 posted a video that showed images of a man who had committed suicide. The backlash to the video was fierce.)
"The America we love is over and no one can save us," said Brzezinski, cutting to another special guest: Oprah Winfrey (played by Leslie Jones) to discuss a possible presidential run. Winfrey gave an impassioned speech at the Golden Globes, which has sparked talk about whether she might run for president, to which President Trump later said that he would beat her if she ran, but he doesn't "think she's going to run." In the SNL bit, the Winfrey character said, "Well, I am a celebrity, so I am qualified. But I am different from Donald Trump because I'm actually a billionaire. There's only one job in the world more powerful than being president — being Oprah!"
Michael Wolff (played by Fred Armisen) also made an appearance. His book about the Trump administration, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, which chronicled the president's first year in office, was published on Jan. 5.
In the sketch, the hosts asked him about the claims in the book, such as Trump's eating and television habits. "Was there anything you didn't include?" Brzezinski asked. Wolff replied, "Well, the worst one was the baby races. Trump would ask to have two babies placed in his office, usually of different ethnicities, someone would put a bowl of Goldfish crackers on the other side of the room, and Trump would say, 'A thousand bucks on the black one.'"
In his book, Wolff examines the White House staff surrounding Trump and his family. In a column for The Hollywood Reporter, Wolff wrote :"The nature of the comedy, it was soon clear, was that here was a group of ambitious men and women who had reached the pinnacle of power, a high-ranking White House appointment — with the punchline that Donald Trump was president. Their estimable accomplishment of getting to the West Wing risked at any moment becoming farce."
Armisen's Wolff also said of the book, "Look, you read it right? And you liked it, you had fun? Then what's the problem? You got the gist, so shut up. Even the stuff that's not true — it's true."
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri actor Sam Rockwell hosted the episode, which featured Halsey as the musical guest.