“If you come anywhere near me, just remember I have hip-hop friends and country friends — two populations that are guaranteed to own guns,” a scandal-drenched and lap dance-promising Matt Gaetz was told on Saturday Night Live tonight in no uncertain terms by Lil Nas X in the cold open.
In a season that has squandered one timely comedic opportunity after another in recent months, the Chris Redd-delivered line to a Pete Davidson-portraying Florida congressman might have been one of the single best non-“Weekend Update” lines in a very long time on SNL. It certainly was one of the better opening sketches out of a week that was rich in such material.
Kicking off another episode of Britney Spears-hosted mock celeb scandal show Oops, You Did It Again and with a shout-out to “speaking of pariahs” Georgia, home of a new liquid-free voter suppression law, SNL went for the jugular and drew blood – a lot of it.
For one thing, the Easter Sunday eve episode may have seen the DOJ probed Rep. Gaetz give a lap dance, but God himself received a short one from Lil Nas X.
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) April 4, 2021
“Let me remind people, that was not the real God, that was just my friend Gary,” Redd’s Lil Nas X stated as the guy in the robe and long white beard exited the stage. In past decades, that part of the opener alone would have had the phones ringing off the hook at the Comcast-owned, as Sinead O’Conner could tell you. But in the first week of April 2021, it was the tame bit ripped from the headlines.
In that vein, cut to the growing blast radius of Gaetz’s alleged sex scandal involving minors and claims of extortion and more, plus a Kate McKinnon-played “culture of assault” promoting Pepe Le Pew, who has been dropped from the Space Jam sequel – and well, that’s a roaring start.
“I would love to be at a point in my career where I could turn down projects, but there’s not a lot of parts for an old French skunk,” McKinnon’s French-accented, smoking rodent told the Chloe Fineman-portrayed Spears and Lil Nas X. “The parts come down to me and Gérard Depardieu, and if you think I am the problem, I have two words for you: Speedy Gonzales. And you didn’t hear this from me, but the FBI is 99% sure Yosemite Sam was at the Capitol riots.”
McKinnon was 10 toes down as usual, but coming on the Spears’ fictional Vegas-based show, Redd’s Lil Nas X was a surprise that should in any other season of the late-night NBC series turn into a regular skit.
In the real world, the “Old Town Road” singer recently was “attacked by the rare combo of the Catholic Church and Nike,” as Fineman’s Spears put it so succinctly, for his legally dubious and human blood-containing Satan Shoes, which were hit with a temporary restraining order for copyright infringement by the sneaker giant on March 31. “They’re closed-minded idiots … people are afraid of me because I’m different, but really I’m your typical gay, Black, country rapper sneaker entrepreneur,” Redd’s lounging Lil Nas X declared. “I put my pants on like everyone, else, one assless chap at a time,” he added, to a big socially distanced studio audience laugh.
With all that gold, the payoff was Davidson’s sly “incredibly Florida” Gaetz. Perfect down to the twitches, Davidson’s Gaetz, a self-described “ladies man,” issued a defense that “people are just targeting me because I supported Donald Trump.” Cementing that GOP fact is weirder than SNL fiction, when asked by Fineman’s Spears if the sordid scandal could hurt him in the 2022 midterms, Davidson’s Gaetz responded, “Weirdly, in my district they might help.”
“I don’t know, Matt, I think I can spot a teen predator when I see one,” Fineman’s Spears deadpanned, later declaring Gaetz to be judged by his face. “After all, I was on The Mickey Mouse Club.”
Britney's final guest tonight was Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz. pic.twitter.com/Bde0PgSZuH
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) April 4, 2021
Hosted for the first time by Judas and the Black Messiah star and two-time Oscar nominee Daniel Kaluuya, tonight’s SNL comes at the end of a week that has seen Gaetz literally become politically toxic to even Fox News Channel. Tossed from the conservative media Mount Olympus after a disastrous interview with Tucker Carlson in which the Trump favorite tried to link claims in his own scandal to accusations of a very different nature leveled at the primetime host in the past, Gaetz has proceeded to lose staff, credibility and get mired deeper in misconduct at Formula 1 speed.
Previously having never met a camera he didn’t like, the now-diversionary-bent Gaetz was revealed to have been under investigation by the Department of Justice since last year, when his pal Trump was POTUS. The ever-enlarging probe involves allegations of the congressman having had sex with a minor, paying women for sex and perhaps more corruption There are also officially unrelated whispers of Gaetz’s titillating fellow legislators with nude photos of women he slept with. Never one to stick his neck out for anyone, the former Celebrity Apprentice host has said nothing to help salvage his quickly sinking protégé .
On the other hand, SNL gloriously attached an anchor to Gaetz’s public profile tonight. Watch the full Cold Open at the top of the post.