One week after paying tribute to Ukraine in its cold open, Saturday Night Live this week went for laughs by skewering Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham for taking pro-Vladimir Putin stances as Russia threatened its neighbor.
The cold open was presented as the Fox News Ukrainian Invasion Celebration Spectacular, with Carlson and Ingraham as hosts.
“We got into a bit of trouble for all the nice things we said about Russia and all the mean things we said about Ukraine,” Carlson, played by Alex Moffat, said.
“We did sound pretty awful in hindsight and foresight,” said Ingraham (Kate McKinnon).
“I kept asking, why do we hate Putin? Aren’t liberals in America even worse?” Carlson said.
“I called the president of Ukraine pathetic. He stayed and fought with his people in the war, and I called him pathetic from the news desk in Washington,” Ingraham said.
“I kept saying we should be more worried about our own border getting invaded by Mexico, but in my defense, I am racist, so I thought that was true,” Carlson said.
Ingraham then told viewers they are raising money for “the real victims of this invasion, the oligarchs. Because we need to think about the babies — their sugar babies, who will pour vodka in the mouths, so many horny mouths.”
Carlson then said, “So please, open your wallets, and because this is Fox News, you can either send money or take out a reverse mortgage.”
The cold open — as it often does — packed in a few too many satirical personas. But it did reflect that Carlson downplayed the threat of the invasion, and Ingraham slammed Volodymyr Zelensky. Rep. Adam Kinzinger tweeted a clip of Carlson’s comments, the night before the invasion, and wrote, “In 35 seconds here, @TuckerCarlson basically said: ‘Putin isn’t your enemy. Your fellow American is.’ This is beyond dangerous, to say the least.”
In 35 seconds here, @TuckerCarlson basically said: “Putin isn’t your enemy. Your fellow American is.”
This is beyond dangerous, to say the least https://t.co/n76SrvS3dr
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) February 23, 2022
This past week, Carlson said that “we’ve been taken by surprise by the whole thing. We’re not the only ones who were, but we’re willing to admit it.” He then blamed his misperception on Vice President Kamala Harris, even though Joe Biden’s administration has been warning for more than a month about Russia’s actions.
The skit went on to feature an appearance by Donald Trump (James Austin Johnson), with the former president launching into more stream-of-consciousness riffs on Rihanna, the revival of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Beyond Burgers. Also making an appearance: the pro-Putin action star Steven Seagal (Bowen Yang).
The skit then featured Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberley Giulfoyle (Mikey Day and Cecily Strong) performing a duet “in honor of Russia and Ukraine coming together.”
Don’t you really love that big Russian convoy? Or do you need more? This invasion gets be so damn hard…
That’s the gist of it.
Ingraham noted that Putin “has just criminalized free speech and shut down all independent news organizations.” The Carlson said, “Yeah, so I am thinking, can we please do that to CNN?”
In fact, CNN did suspend broadcasts from Russia, along with CBS News, ABC News and the BBC, following the passage of a new law that could land journalists in jail even for calling Putin’s “special operation” a “war” or “invasion.”
The skit wrapped up with Trump with a message for Putin — the former Celebrity Apprentice host with a rendition of My Funny Valentine. Check it out above.