'SNL' Returns to Familiar Territory Mocking Fox News Over Ukraine in Cold Open

After a somber opening to Saturday Night Live to kick off last week's episode, the NBC mainstay returned to familiar territory. The show didn't hesitate to make some jokes about Ukraine this week, using the coverage on Fox News and the two-sided discussion from those on the network to mount a cold open.

Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, portrayed by Alex Moffat and Kate McKinnon, are the hosts of a telethon raising money due to the invasion of Ukraine. No, it's not to raise money for the invaded nation. Instead, it is to support those oligarchs who have been hit hard by sanctions resulting from the war.

Joining the showcase is Steve Seagal, played by Bowen Yang, Don Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle singing a very treasonous version of "Shallow," and plenty of questionable decisions by those leading the charge. Trump closed it out with a song of his own, singing "My Funny Valentine" to Vladimir Putin.

John Mulaney's fifth appearance as host was a strange episode that balanced some solid laughs with personal issues and tears. The haunting cold open tribute to Ukraine and trimmed Weekend Update left an episode that felt somewhat off and special at the same time.

Mulaney's entrance into the prestigious hosting club was highlighted by the return of Paul Rudd from his aborted December appearance, appearances by past members Tina Fey, Steve Martin, Candice Bergen, Elliot Gould, and a special appearance by Conan O'Brien. The late-night host's time on the show is well documented, but his return mirrored his appearance in the first Five-Timers sketch when Tom Hanks entered the club.

(Photo: NBC)

Rudd's return last week is followed by the return of his scheduled musical guest, Charli XCX. Due to the COVID-19 measures during Rudd's holiday episode, the musician was forced to cancel when the show had to cut the crew to limited members before the start of the show. Charli XCX addressed the sad news on social media.

"Due to the limited crew at tonight's taping of SNL my musical performance will no longer be able to go ahead. I am devastated and heartbroken," she wrote at the time. "It can't happen this time but I'll be back. I am currently safe and healthy, but of course, very sad. Please look after yourselves out there and make sure you get vaccinated if you haven't already."

While she has been on the show before, host Oscar Isaac makes his debut on Saturday. The Dune, Scenes From a Marriage and soon-to-be Marvel star, appeared in a sketch back in October during Wha's Up With That's return on Jason Sudeikis' hosting appearance. Now ahead of Moon Knight on Disney+ at the end of March, he's getting a chance to stretch his comedy muscles.