Saturday Night Live returned for its 45th season in the most predictable of ways: with a cold open about the Ukraine scandal and the president’s potential impeachment that is basically just a series of impressions of Trump enablers and hangers-on. You’ve got Kate McKinnon as an increasingly deranged Rudy Giuliani, Cecily Strong as a bellowing Jeanine Pirro, Alex Moffat and Mikey Day as Eric and Donald Trump Jr., new cast member Bowen Yang bringing back the Kim Jong-un impression he busted out last year, and Chris Redd as Kanye West calling in from “an emergency meeting of the black whackadoos.” There are some jokes, sure, but the main point, once again, is the simple recognition viewers will have when they see these comedians playing those political figures, along with the ample amount of social media attention it’s guaranteed to get on Sunday—at least until the next absurd turn in the never-ending Trump train of embarrassment is inevitably taken.
There’s also a cameo from Liev Schreiber, referencing his show Ray Donovan. If you’re wondering why SNL’s writing for an audience that would actually get Ray Donovan references, it’s because the guy in charge of this show is an old man, too.
And at the center of it all, the first face you see in the first sketch of the first episode of the new season, is Alec Baldwin, with his calcified Trump impression. It’s an immediate sign that we shouldn’t expect any change this year—SNL will keep covering Trump in the same dull, repetitive, incoherent way it always has, as a weekly Mad Lib built around celebrity cameos.
Check it out!