'SNL' Cold Open Tackles Democratic Debate and Trump Impeachment

Maya Rudolph SNL Cold Open — Dec. 21, 2019 — Publicity — H 2019
Will Heath/NBC

The recent Democratic presidential debate took center stage during the cold open of the latest installment of NBC's Saturday Night Live,

On Thursday evening, candidates discussed the economy, climate change and foreign policy. But wine caves quickly became a hot topic, with Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren sparring over the necessity of big-dollar fundraisers vs. small-dollar grassroots campaigns. "Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States," Warren said. 

"Just like The Bachelor, the further we go, the less diverse it gets," castmember Heidi Gardner said as moderator Judy Woodruff during SNL's subsequent spoof.

"'PBS' is my safe word," Kate McKinnon said as Warren, bringing up the now infamous wine caves. "I've never been to a wine cave. I haven't even been to a Filene's Basement," she said in the cold open sketch.

"My candidacy will be completely ignored by the media, which is why I'll conduct the rest of the debate in virtual reality," Bowen Yang said as Andrew Yang.

"Tonight, I will be in attack mode — sas long as that's okay with you guys," Colin Jost's Buttigieg said.

Rachel Dratch made a cameo as Amy Klobuchar. "Tonight, my voice will be as solid as my carefully rehearsed Midwestern mom jokes," she quipped.

"I'm Bernie Sanders. I'm white. Can't help it," Larry David said joining in the star-studded cold open lineup, reappearing on the show as Sanders.

Jason Sudeikis returned as Joe Biden, and Fred Armisen showed up as Michael Bloomberg, despite not being eligible for the debate.

Maya Rudolph made a cameo as Kamala Harris, even though the senator has dropped out of the race. "While I'm here, I just want to show you how good you could have had it, America ... you could have had a bad bitch," she said, referencing a song by Lizzo, who was the evening's musical guest.

Cecily Strong appeared as Tulsi Gabbard, and references were made to the recent impeachment of President Donald Trump by the House of Representatives. On Wednesday night, Trump became only the third American chief executive to be formally charged under the Constitution's ultimate remedy for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Sure enough, Alec Baldwin resumed his impression of Trump to refute the fact that he had been impeached. "Now, you're going to get Donald Trump raw, baby," he said. Sudeikis' Biden challenged him to a pushup contest.

Baldwin's Trump said he isn't afraid of anything, prompting McKinnon to show up as Nancy Pelosi. "Good luck at the State of the Union," she said, imitating the exaggerated clap Pelosi did at the last State of the Union.