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Saturday Night Live Host Will Ferrell: Democratic Debate Sketch
Last night, Saturday Night Live welcomed back legendary former cast member and now-five time guest host Will Ferrell. And in a completely unsurprising development, his return made for one of the best SNL episodes of the season so far. A bad host wears the effort of live performance all over his face, while a good one, like last week’s Harry Styles, is at ease enough to give himself over to the material. But a great host like Ferrell truly elevates everything he touches, and this week, that included the show’s sometimes less-than-inspired political sketches.
Ferrell appeared in a deeply-star studded take on this week’s Democratic primary debate. SNL alums Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, and Fred Armisen played Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, while Woody Harrelson and Larry David returned as Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
“You’re scared,” acknowledged Harrelson’s Biden. “Scared I’ll say something off color, or even worse—on color. What I want you to know is, you should be scared. Because I’m always one second away from calling Cory Booker, ‘Barack.’”
Larry David’s judiciously-deployed take on Bernie Sanders remains a delight, and in this case offered one of the best little monologues of the night:
Here’s my plan for healthcare: No co-pay, no out of pocket. The only thing that comes out of my pocket are tissues, receipts, loose cough drops, a movie stub for Florence Foster Jenkins, which was so-so, and of course, the little button in the baggie that comes with the pants. Most people throw it out. Do yourself a favor: Hold onto it—you never know.
Ferrell played billionaire Tom Steyer, who’s running for president for a simple reason: “It’s fun, and it gets me out of the house.” In an attempt to be relatable, he walked straight into the camera while talking about the impacts housing can have on where everyday Americans do everyday things, like buy their jewels and raise peacocks.
And Cecily Strong killed it in her smaller roles as the “night’s villain” Tulsi Gabbard. “I have no interest in those Dalmatian puppies,” she said by way of closing statement. Check out the full sketch below.
Gabrielle Bruney is a writer and editor for Esquire, where she focuses on politics and culture.