SNL opens with Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump – and two surprise guests

Midterm elections explain mix of opening-weekend comedies and Donald Trump references

“Trump tweets out a tweet calling me a man of integrity, just like the President of the United States,” said Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live’s new season opener, “which is saying something.”

On tonight’s opening episode, Baldwin delivered a series of impressions that ranged from a frustrated businessman, an angry motorcyclist, a whiny chief executive, and a food critic.

Baldwin’s latest success appears to be a MacGruber parody with the former SNL cast member Colin Jost, who joined the comedy show last year.

Jost and Baldwin, the former political correspondent for SNL and now in charge of the Weekend Update segment, began the show’s opening weekend with a humorous preview of this week’s live shows.

Liz Cheney (Kate McKinnon)’s bid for the US Senate was highlighted on Saturday Night Live’s opening episode. Photograph: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The segment focused on this week’s live shows, which are expected to attract tens of millions of viewers as the midterm elections heat up.

“Thank God this election is being decided with as many people as possible,” said Jost. “They can vote for whichever side they want.”

It made way for a pair of surprise appearances, including a surprise live performance by the singer Ashlee Simpson, who sang her hit single “Pieces of Me” for “payback” for the show’s cold open skit.

In the past, SNL has used the first episodes to end the season with a bang. Last year’s season opener attracted 9.5 million viewers.

Following the announcement of the guest host on the show, actor Chris Evans was greeted with booing when he began explaining to his soon-to-be former best friends Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, played by Alex Moffat and Melissa Villaseñor, why he was leaving his role as Captain America.

“Chris, I just wish we had been able to have a decent person at the top of the Republican party,” joked Moffat and Villaseñor.

Chris Evans performs a David Bowie cover on Saturday Night Live’s opening episode. Photograph: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

The season opener skit had nothing to do with politics, but the cast’s odd choice in music was certainly political.

For Evans’ final cast member appearance, his on-screen buddy Kenan Thompson, played by Thompson, interrupted the host and said: “I’m really proud of you; you’re a really smart person. And really funny.”

Thompson and Thompson continued for a few awkward seconds before Evans held up his hands in disbelief.

Later in the night, former Vice-President Joe Biden, played by Baldwin, performed a mock colonoscopy and delivered some remarks about the upcoming midterm elections.

“Donald Trump is giving away all kinds of stuff just for the next two weeks,” he said. “Politics is my thing. So, just kind of believe in me a little more, I know it’s tough.”

Biden continued by saying what he believed voters wanted to hear.

“I know people want to see that you’re concerned about the middle class and everyone who works hard,” he said. “I’m going to talk about how much I care about them all.”

Biden was later visited by Steve Bannon, played by Morgan Freeman, who implored him to run for office in 2020.

“You should run,” said Freeman, “because you would get a lot of respect.”

“Donald Trump is as confident as the rain in Boston,” added Carlson.

Bannon, however, told Biden he was too old to run for political office.

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