Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate hearing was already a national nightmare. His foaming anger, his “cover emotions,” his disrespectful evasiveness towards Sen. Amy Klobuchar — it would be comedic gold if weren’t mocking an egregious display of male entitlement. And sometimes, laughter is one of the few healthy ways to deal with tragedy. Luckily, Saturday Night Live returned for its 44th season, and its cold open roasted Kavanaugh like a marshmallow over a campfire. Starring Matt Damon as Kavanaugh, the show opened with the judge depicted as the “proudest, drunkest virgin you’ve ever seen.”
It opens with a special report on Fox News, with Leslie Jones impersonating Harris Faulkner. She takes us live to the Senate hearing, where, she says, “two of the oldest white people I’ve ever seen are about to run a circus.”
Alex Moffat plays Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman. He calls the session to order, and invites Kavanaugh to enter the chambers. The audience loses it when Matt Damon appears. SNL’s makeup artist really captured Kavanugh’s angry man face flushing. “I’m going to start at an 11,” screams Damon, “and I’m going to take it to about a 15 real quick!”
Damon also beautifully hyperbolized Kavanaugh’s confounding cries. Alternating between defensiveness and anger, he dotted his testimony with carefully-crafted sympathetic moments — which Damon skewered as he held up a handwritten 1982 calendar. “Every night, I was lifting weights with PJ and Squi, and Handsy Hank and Gangbang Greg” he said, through manufactured tears. The crowd lost it.
As the hearing goes on, Damon repeats Kavanaugh’s familiar line, “I like beer,” to hilarious excess. When Pete Davidson, portraying Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, asks about the “devil’s triangle” and “Eskimo brothers,” Damon insists that is has nothing to do with sex, because “all I did was drink a lot and not think about having any sex at all.” Kavanaugh maintains that he was a virgin throughout high school.
The thing is, the reason the cold open is so funny is because it is true. And sometimes, making fun of the news is the only way we can process it. You can watch the cold open below.
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