The episode’s cold open was a Fox News parody focused on that network’s coverage of the coronavirus. In the clip, Kate McKinnon’s Laura Ingraham announces that she’ll be interviewing Elizabeth Warren. It was unclear how McKinnon, who portrays both Warren and Ingraham on the late-night show, would be able to do the skit by herself. That confusion was cleared up when the real Elizabeth Warren entered the interview.
Warren takes some time to poke fun at herself in the clip, while also detailing her proudest accomplishments of the campaign. She said she was glad she got to give Mike Bloomberg “a swirlie on live TV,” and was proud that she had built a “wide coalition of teachers, preschool teachers, middle school teachers, and teacher’s pets.”
At the end of the clip, McKinnon’s Warren joins the real Warren onstage, and thanks her for all that she’s done in her lifetime.
“I’m not dead, I’m just in the Senate,” Warren replies.
Before she goes, Warren and McKinnon get to cue the rest of the show in together, saying, “live from New York, it’s Saturday night.”
Reaction to the clip on social media was mixed. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded to a snippet of McKinnon’s Warren and the actual Warren dancing with the comment, “ok this is legendary.”
That tweet was met with a variety of fervent responses from supporters who accused Warren of selling out the progressive movement by not immediately endorsing Bernie Sanders after she dropped out. Others suggested that this might be Ocasio-Cortez’s “pivot to the right.”
“No what would have been legendary was her doing the bare minimum and endorsing Bernie,” one user remarked in response to the New York representative’s tweet.
“There are thousands of people who will die each year because she sat on the sidelines at a crucial time this might be legendary, but not for the reasons you’re saying,” another person tweeted.
Warren is far from the first politician to make an appearance on Saturday Night Live. During the 2016 election, the show produced an entire episode hosted by Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton has also shown up playing a bartender, and Bernie Sanders has stopped by for an appearance with Larry David, who plays him on the show. Warren is among the first presidential candidates to stop by SNL following their defeats, perhaps establishing a new precedent where candidates don’t simply use the series as a campaign stop.