'SNL': John Mulaney's Joe Biden Helps Derail Trump Administration's Coronavirus Conference in Cold Open

Saturday Night Live returned after a two-week break with another political cold open sketch. It helped kick off an episode that marked the return of John Mulaney, who is hosting an episode for a third consecutive season. The sketch parodied the Trump Administration's response to the coronavirus, led by Vice President Mike Pence, played by Beck Bennett.

The sketch began with Pence introducing a team made up of "some of the best people left in government," beginning with Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson (Kenan Thompson). He then opened up the press conference for questions from the press, but the first person he called on was Mike Bloomberg (Fred Armisen).

After a nonsensical question, Bloomberg took over the press conference. Then Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Kate McKinnon) popped up to torment Bloomberg.

Next, Mulaney came in to play Vice President Joe Biden, replacing Jason Sudeikis and Woody Harrelson, who played the part before.

"Joe Biden? You look different," Pence noticed.

"Yeah, the surgery is starting to settle," Biden said. "Now listen, folks, if we want to fight China cough, we gotta be smart. We gotta make sure to get new teeth daily."

Sen. Bernie Sanders (Larry David) interrupted things again, celebrating his success in early Democratic Presidential primaries. Colin Jost and Rachel Dratch also popped in to play former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, respectively.

Mulaney-hosted episodes are known for being star-studded affairs. When the comedian, who gained fame as a writer on the show, first hosted in April 2018, the show opened with a sketch featuring Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller recreating the famous Meet The Parents polygraph scene. This time though, De Niro played former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, who was in the middle of his investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election, and Stiller starred as President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen. Former SNL cast member Nasim Pedrad also appeared in a pre-taped sketch parodying the Netflix docuseries Wild Wild Country.

In March 2019, Mulaney returned, as did Stiller as Cohen. The cold open for that episode parodied Cohen's testimony before the House of Representatives, and included Bill Hader playing Representative Jim Jordan. Hader later hosted another edition of the "What's That Name" gameshow sketch.

Mulaney's return to SNL this time comes after the release of his latest Netflix special, the ingenious John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch, a tribute to the children's television shows of his childhood. The special includes cameos from Natasha Lyonne, Annaleigh Ashford, Andre De Shields, Richard Kind and David Byrne, who is performing on SNL this weekend. Jake Gyllenhaal also performed a side-splitting sketch as Mr. Music.

"From an early age, I tried to be funny for the adults," Mulaney recently said on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. "My mom said, 'When you were a baby, you used to poke your head out of blankets.' She said, 'It was like you knew how to be cute.' She didn't say it, like, flattering: 'It was weird. It was like you knew what you were doing.' I think I thought, and feel still, that I have to provide that in order for people to like me. The idea of, would they like me just as me... without poking out of the blanket, metaphorically... is a real thought for concern."

Mulaney has won two Emmys, including Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special for his 2018 special John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City.

The March 7 SNL episode will be hosted by Daniel Craig with The Weeknd performing.


Saturday Night Live airs at 11:30 p.m. ET Saturdays on NBC.

Photo credit: NBC