'SNL' Returns With Joe Biden, Pete Davidson and Spider-Man for First Cold Open in 2022

SNL made its return for 2022 on Saturday night, kicking things off with a new message from President Joe Biden, played by new dad James Austin Johnson. His solution for beating COVID in the cold open is to stop seeing Spider-Man.

The theory is based on nothing but guts, moxie and Omicron's proximity to the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home. It's silly to think POTUS couldn't get a copy of the movie in the White House, but the whole thing smells of headline-grabbing SEO bait to kick off the show.

Biden doesn't care about the other problems facing this nation, like members of his party gumming up the works in Congress or Russia's latest foray into military theatrics. Andrew Dismukes pops up near the end and cuts to the core of the situation, taking the president into the multiverse.

"Doesn't that make more sense than whatever the hell our current world is?," Biden asks, pointing out that current mask rules are kinda foolish, vaccinations didn't prevent this surge, and much more. None of this matters after Pete Davidson shows up as the real Joe Biden. He's got a great voice, he's tatted up and he's not president. It's a good universe to be from, even if Pete Davidson doesn't have as much fun in that one.

Anyway, this is SNL's first episode since the collapse of their Christmas episode with Paul Rudd as host. While it seemed like things were finally on a path away from COVID disruptions, it popped back up and scrapped pretty much the entire show.

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COVID still affected this 2022 premiere a bit, with musical guest Roddy Ricch testing positive and pulling out as this week's host. Instead, Bleachers will be filling in alongside host and Golden Globe winner Ariana DeBose. She took some time in her monologue to celebrate the non-televised win and to share some words about Broadway. It has struggled amid the pandemic, leading to the latest musical intro to SNL featuring songs from West Side Story and Kate McKinnon.

Nothing is too risky about the start of this episode, with the goal likely being to complete the episode. Also, DeBose and McKinnon are delightful.