The cold open of Saturday Night Live’s 44th season premiered yesterday (Sept. 29) and waded right into current events with a sketch about this week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearings of US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Matt Damon, who played Kavanaugh, was the surprise casting decision (paywall). This is not the first time, of course, that film stars have played key political figures in SNL’s satirical sketches: Alec Baldwin has famously impersonated Donald Trump and Robert De Niro has played special counsel Robert Mueller.
During the 13-minute cold open, SNL mocked Fox News’ partisan coverage of the hearings, the gender and age makeup of the Senate Judiciary Committee and its treatment of sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, and Kavanaugh’s perceived aggressiveness during the hearings. “Let me tell you this,” Damon/Kavanaugh opened with. “I’m going to start at an 11. I’m going to take it to about a 15 real quick.”
“I’m here tonight because of a sham; a political con job orchestrated by the Clintons, and George Soros, and Kathy Griffin, and Mr. Ronan Sinatra. Now, I’m usually an optimist. I’m a keg-half-full kind of guy, but what I’ve seen from the monsters on this committee makes me want to puke… and not from beer!”
Damon portrayed Kavanaugh as an angry and aggressive character who regularly refused to answer questions directly and blamed others for the situation he found himself in. That closely echoes the perception that many analysts have had of Kavanaugh’s performance in this week’s real-life Senate hearings, which will determine the fate of his nomination next week after the conclusion of an FBI investigation into allegations of sexual assault made against him by professor Christine Blasey Ford.
The skit ended with Damon’s Kavanaugh wrapping up his speech and saying: “If you think I’m angry now, just wait until I get on that Supreme Court, because then you’re all going to pay.”