Ben Stiller and Bill Hader have cameos in the latest episode of Saturday Night Live. They appeared as US attorney Michael Cohen, former legal representation for US President Donald Trump, and Ohio State Representative Jim Jordan.
For context, SNL’s political bit references Cohen’s hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform this past week. Known as a “fixer,” the attorney was fired by Trump in May of 2018 after a special counsel investigation into the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Last December, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison, which he will begin serving on May 6. As for Jordan, he was included in SNL’s opening satire for defending Trump, and for commenting about the democrats' “crazy” effort to legitimize the president.
In the episode, SNL adhered to their traditional cold open format, in which veteran cast member Kenan Thompson portrays the Oversight Committee’s chairman Elijah Cummings. After a brief comedic bit that references outspoken and newly-elected U.S. representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Stiller appears as Cohen, using his deadpan humor to poke fun at Cohen’s public persona. Nearly four minutes into the almost 10-minute open, Hader appears a Jordan and essentially plays the stooge to Stiller’s straight man. In other words, the Barry star takes a more aggressive approach, using an amplified voice for comedic effect and delayed pacing in order to extend the laughs. By the end, Stiller delivers a brief monologue, complemented by a piano score, which sets up the the series' famous line, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” Check out the full clip below:
For SNL, the cold open premise was expected, as the series has a history of addressing the current political climate. Even more, Stiller has previously portrayed Cohen, while Hader famously co-wrote the popular Weekend Update character Stefon with this week’s host, John Mulaney. In 2008, the now 36-year-old Mulaney auditioned for SNL, and ended up writing for the iconic comedy series for a full six seasons. Since then, the comic has appeared in numerous feature films and popular televisions shows. On Netflix’s adult animated sitcom Big Mouth, Mulaney voices Andrew Glouberman, an adolescent exploring his sexual urges.
Over the years, Saturday Night Live has experienced significant ups and downs. With that said, the famous comedy series can always be relied on to deliver a timely cold open about the state of American politics. In this case, the inclusion of Stiller and Hader made the viewing experience entirely worthwhile.
Source: Saturday Night Live