'SNL' Made Glaring Error in Donald Trump 'Wordle' Cold Open

Saturday Night Live used the online word game Wordle for its cold open punchline last weekend, but die-hard fans of the game had to point out some flaws in the joke. The opening sketch featured Kate McKinnon playing Fox News host Laura Ingraham and ended with her interviewing former President Donald Trump (James Austin Johnson). The fictionalized Trump used Wordle as a framing device for his monologue, but the graphic did not follow the real game's format too closely.

"Can we get today's Wordle?" Johnson asked in his now-infamous Trump impression. The show's simple grid showed beside him, and he rattled off words that filled in like guesses in the popular game. However, viewers who have been obsessing over the game now have a sharp eye for its ins and outs, and they noticed that this graphic did not really follow Wordle's rules. When they pointed this out on social media it got some grumpy comments.

"Love u SNL but this is not how Wordle works," one person wrote. Another added: "Might be petty, but I'm a little annoyed that the Wordle on screen for the SNL cold open didn't actually follow the proper rules of Wordle."

For those that haven't given it a try yet, Wordle is a guessing game that gives you six chances to guess the word of the five-letter word of the day. When your guess includes a correct letter in the wrong place, it shows in yellow; when you guess a correct letter in the correct place, it shows in green. When a letter is not in the word of the day at all, it turns gray. These colors show on the keyboard while you are guessing as well.

In the SNL sketch, the word of the day was "Trump," but there were two errors in the graphic displayed beside Johnson. For one thing, the "P" in "Prada should have been yellow, not gray. For another, the second "M" in "Momoa" should have been gray, since there is only one "M" in "Trump."


These may sound like petty complaints, but for people all around the world, Wordle has now become serious business and seeing the game board sends a jolt right to their analytical minds. The game was created by Brooklyn software engineer Josh Wardle – originally as a gift for his partner, then for his family, then for the world.

The New York Times profiled Wardle last week to discuss the game's success. He suggested that the absence of advertisements is a big part of the game's appeal. However, being featured on shows like SNL and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon have certainly helped its success. Wordle is available for free on any web browser.