October 1, 2023

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Variety “I’ve never seen more beautiful water”

Donald Trump came under fire during his recent press conference in East Palestine, Ohio during the “Saturday Night Live” cold opening gala. Under the fake C-Span coverage, “SNL” star James Austin Johnson embodied the former president as he gave a speech to locals affected by a recent derailment and toxic chemical spill in the area.

“I’ve been looking at your river, and it’s so bright,” Johnson said, impersonating the politician. “I’ve never seen water more beautiful—beautiful rainbows and a change in color. It’s great. It sets makeup, like Fenty Beauty Water.”

Johnson proceeds to yell at Rihanna at her February 12 semifinal show at Super Bowl LVII, to comment about her pregnancy. Recovering the focus, Johnson pins the blame on the man he regards as the real culprit: “Who do we blame? We blame Pete Buttigieg,” Johnson asserts, referring to the ongoing congressional committee’s investigation of Buttigieg’s response to the derailment. This was his responsibility. Unfortunately, he was too busy being a nerd and being gay.”

Chloe Fineman appeared alongside Johnson, portraying Georgia Grand Juror Emily Kohrs. The juror has taken to social media in recent weeks to detail the investigation’s actions into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

As the sketch continues, Trump (Johnson) questions Kuhrs (Feynman) to reveal whether or not he will be charged, to which she screams in an incomprehensible response.

After a cold opening, Woody Harrelson appeared on stage as host, ushering the actor into the “SNL” Five-Timers Club — a distinction coined 10 times by host Tom Hanks in recognition of individuals who have hosted the show at least five previous times.

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“This is my fifth time doing SNL and you know what that means. No jacket? Okay,” joked Harrelson.

Recording artist Jack White, best known as the lead singer and guitarist for the White Stripes, will be the musical guest on the night.

“Saturday Night Live” stars Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong, Mickey Day, Heidi Gardner, Ego Nodem, Bowen Yang, Chloe Fineman, Bunkie Johnson and Andrew Dismox along with Weekend Update anchors Michael Che and Colin Jost. Other featured players include James Austin Johnson, Sarah Sherman, Marcelo Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker.

Currently in its 48th season, the sketch show continues under creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels with Liz Patrick as director. The series is produced by Broadway Video and SNL Studios and distributed by NBCUniversal Television and Streaming.

Viewers can tune in to “Saturday Night Live” Saturdays at 8:30 PM PT / 11:30 PM ET on NBC and Peacock, the network’s streaming service.