This week’s “Saturday Night Live” Cold Open recast the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump as an episode of the courtroom reality show “Judge Mathis” to give viewers the dramatic impeachment proceedings they’d expected.
“After months of anticipation, the impeachment trial of President Trump wound up consisting of two weeks of dry debate and posturing and will conclude without any witness testimony or new evidence,” an on-screen introduction read. “For those hoping for more, here is...the trial you wish had happened.”
Judge Greg Mathis (Kenan Thompson) usurps the bench from Chief Justice Justice John Roberts (Mikey Day), who presided over the actual Senate impeachment trial.
“This court needs a real judge that has some big brass ones under his skirt,” Mathis says to Roberts.
Mathis calls witnesses, including former national security adviser John Bolton (Cecily Strong), into the courtroom, “because that’s how a damn trial works.”
During Friday night’s actual trial, senators voted 51-49 to disallow new witnesses. Supporters of the call for new witnesses and evidence had hoped to hear from Bolton.
In an unpublished manuscript, Bolton wrote that the president asked him to persuade the Ukrainian president to meet with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who was trying to coax Ukraine into investigating the Bidens, according to an anonymous source.
At the behest of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., (Beck Bennett) Mathis also calls Hunter Biden (Pete Davidson), the son of former Vice President Joe Biden and the former board member of a Ukrainian company at the center of the Ukraine scandal.
“The president is just pointing at me to distract from his own crimes,” Davidson’s Hunter Biden says.
Biden begins to list his involvement in various business ventures, like letting foreign leaders stay at his family property when he notes that those descriptions actually match the president’s own children.
House Impeachment Manager Adam Schiff, D-Calif., (Alex Moffat) and Mathis’ cousin Vinny (Kyle Mooney) also briefly appear.
Trump later enters the courtroom to defend himself, after McConnel and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., (Kate McKinnon) do advertisements for the coal and gun industries.
“Ladies and gentlemen of this government place, what I’ve learned from this trial is clearly nothing I do or say has any consequences, so I’d like to come clean about everything,” Alec Baldwin as Trump says.
Baldwin’s Trump then fesses up to his lies, including that “The call with Ukraine wasn’t perfect, it was illegal and frankly it was a butt dial.”
“I cheat all the time at golf, taxes, wives, elections and bathroom scales,” Trump continued.
Matthis rules that Trump is guilty on all charges, fines him $10,000 and orders him to say one nice thing about House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt took the “SNL” stage as a host for the first time Saturday night on the eve of Super Bowl LIV.
Watt said he wouldn’t be able to host “SNL” if his team had made it into the Super Bowl. But if given the opportunity, would he trade the “SNL” stage for the Super Bowl field?
“Yes, I definitely would,” Watt joked. “Actually I still would, so if you guys want to call me, I’ll leave right now.”
In no surprise to anyone, the rest of his monologue was about football, too.
The 30-year-old defensive end revealed that two of his brothers are also professional football players. Younger brothers T.J. and Derek Watt play for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Chargers, respectively.
“My brothers are both big guys, too — my mom gave birth to a lineman, a full back and a linebacker,” Watt said. “After that, my dad said they were done having kids, but my mom really wanted to try for a kicker, someone she could dress up and buy cute clothes for.”
Watt credited his parents’ parenting style to answer how they got three sons into the NFL.
When he and his brother argued over video games, Watt said his mother would take the controller, throw it down into the basement, turn off the lights, blast Metallica and say, “Whoever brings that back to me gets to play next.”
“It’s not a joke guys — that’s what we did,” Watt said as the audience laughed. “Why do you think my nose is so messed up?”
The “Weekend Update” segment returned to commenting on the end of the Senate impeachment trial.
“‘Well the impeachment trial is basically over’ is a sentence I could have said two weeks ago when the trial began,” Colin Jost said.
Co-host Micheal Che expressed a similar disappointment in the trial’s results.
“What better way to start Black History Month than to be failed by the justice system,” Che said. “We would have been better off just yelling ‘Citizen’s arrest.’”
Che also applauded Trump defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz’s defense strategy of suggesting that asking a foreign power to interfere in U.S. elections is not impeachable if the president thought his reelection was in the nation’s best interest.
“That’s it,” Che said. “I’m a Republica now. I’m tired of losing. I can’t be a Democrat and a Knick’s fan.”
Jost and Che also commented on this week’s other news, like former Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein arriving to his criminal trial using a walker.
The desk welcomed newly appointed Chinese Health Minister Chen Biao (Bowen Yang) to discuss China’s coronavirus response.
“China’s go this,” Yang said. “Middle kingdom on lock, literally.”
Biao also addressed concerns that China has been underreporting the number of coronavirus cases and deaths.
“How would we even do that with our state-run media?” Bia asked. “I have nothing to hide, Che. I show my nipples on dating apps. I’m talking full areole.”
Professor of African American Studies at Rutgers University Dr. Angie Hynes (Ego Nwodim) also joined Jost and Che to talk about lesser known black trailblazers for Black History Month.
Country singer Luke Combs performed “Lovin’ on You,” for his first set as this week’s musical guest.
For his second stage, Combs performed “Beer Never Broke My Heart." Both songs are from his 2019 album “What You See Is What You Get.”