Even Republicans seem to understand that the 2016 presidential race has turned into an out pf control mess for the party. The entire establishment of the Republican Party started the election hoping to push Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio as sane candidates who could win the general election against the Democratic Party nominee. Things started to go off the rails almost immediately as Donald Trump entered the race. The Republican base began backing the anti-establishment candidates. What started as something most pundits believed would sputter out and die by the end of the summer turned into a full revolution that has left the party in a type of civil war.
Saturday Night Live has been turning the debacle into comedy over the last few months. They cast have become infamous for biting and satirical cold openings to the show that all hold a nugget of truth. The latest cold opening captured the state of the Republican presidential primary perfectly. It helps that the events of the last few weeks have been surprising and bizarre at best.
The sketch begins with a parody of a CNN news anchor covering the election. It immediately cuts to Darrell Hammond doing an incredibly good impersonation of Donald Trump mimicking a recent campaign appearance. He is at the podium with Bobby Moynihan behind him posing as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Hammond quickly launches into the bombastic, hyperbolic type of speech Trump really uses. He throws someone out of the rally as Christie stands staring vacantly in the background. Hammond turns to Moynihan for affirmation only for him to say, “Yes sir, may I have another,” in response to an insult.
The scene is parodying a recent appearance that everyone criticized. Christie was really standing behind Trump with a blank expression. Christie dropped out of the race recently and then endorsed Trump. The criticism was that Christie looked as if he had sold out in order to get some favors from Trump such as repayment of his campaign debts. There even came a point in the actual even where Trump said negative things about New Jersey and Christie quietly shook his head in disagreement.
The Saturday Night Live skit also poked fun at the news media. It showed the CNN reporter cutting briefly to the Democratic side of things only to come back a few seconds later. The anchor states it is time to “get back to the fun stuff, the Republicans,” before cutting to Taran Killam as Senator Ted Cruz. The Cruz impersonator goes on about how voters find him creepy. He then referenced a now infamous incident where he was caught on camera eating nasal mucus much to the disgust of the audience.
The final part of the cold opening sees Jason Sudeikis as Mitt Romney. The real Romney gave a blistering speech recently where he went on a long tirade about how the Republican Party needs to disavow Trump and come together to defeat him. The skit made fun of the perception of Romney as being an unrealistically wholesome, religious American who does not curse or do anything controversial. The skit ends with Sudeikis starting the show.
The cold opening managed to hit all of the beats from the strange Trump-Christie stage appearance to the primary wins of Senator Cruz. It also did not hold back from criticizing the media for playing into what would get ratings instead of doing actual journalism. The Republican presidential contest is far from over even though it seems Trump has an insurmountable lead. Rumors lately are that there might be a brokered convention where Romney is put up as a potential presidential candidate although that seems unlikely in reality.