SNL’s Cold Open About the January 6 Hearings Is Depressingly Accurate

“It was a fun country while it lasted.”

Our democracy may be crumbling. Millions of Americans still deny the results of the 2020 election. And a former president is unlikely to face any consequences for inciting an attack on the US Capitol. But, thanks to the writers at Saturday Night Live, at least we can have a laugh about it.

Saturday’s cold open depicts the ninth and final hearing of the January 6 committee, during which the members give their closing statements. “January 6 was one of the most dramatic and consequential moments in our nation’s history,” SNL castmember Kenan Thompson, playing Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the committee chair, says. “So to fight back, we assembled a team of monotone nerds to do a PowerPoint.”

Thompson recognizes Republican colleague Rep. Liz Cheney (Heidi Gardner) to speak. “Over the past few months, this bipartisan committee has presented our case to all Americans,” she says. “Whether you’re a Republican who’s not watching or a Democrat who’s nodding so hard your head is falling off, one person is responsible for this insurrection: Donald Trump. And one person will suffer the consequences: me,” a reference to Cheney’s election loss in her home state of Wyoming.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), played by Andrew Dismukes, then presents evidence that Trump knew he lost the election. “Everyone around him knew,” Kinzinger says. “He asked White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, ‘Did I lose the election?’ And Pat said, ‘Yes.’ He then asked Ivanka, ‘Did I really lose the election?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ He then tried a janitor: ‘Hey, you don’t think I lost, do you?’ The janitor responded, ‘I do.’ Then the president turned to a dog and said, ‘What about you, did I win?’ And the dog legit shook its head side to side, then barked a perfect, human, ‘No.'”

The skit wraps with Thompson thanking his colleagues for sacrificing their summers and “in some cases, their careers” to serve on the committee. “Well, we tried,” he adds. “It was a fun country while it lasted.”

Cynicism aside, the skit is great. Watch it in full here:

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and billionaires wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2022 demands.

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