Since the return of SNL in September, the show has utilized their cold opens to create conversations online. To start off their 43rd season, Alec Baldwin returned as Donald Trump, focusing on how the President handled Puerto Rico, NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, and North Korea stepping up their missile tests and calling Kim Jong-un “Rocket Man.”
The second episode of SNL featured Jason Aldean opening with a surprise performance of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” It was a show of strength after the Las Vegas tragedy, where Aldean was performing during the Route 91 Harvest Festival and a gunman opened fire, killing 58 and injuring over 500 more. His SNL appearance was to honor the victims and to share a message of hope.
I’m Jason Aldean. This week we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history. Like everyone, I’m struggling to understand what happened that night and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal. So many people are hurting – there are children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends. They’re all part of our family, so I want to say to them we hurt for you and we hurt with you, and you can be sure we’re going to walk through these tough times together every step of the way. Because when America is at its best our bond and our spirit is unbreakable.”
For tonight’s episode featuring host Kumail Nanjiani and musical guest Pink, the audience was treated to another political cold open. Alec Baldwin is back as Donald Trump, where the sketch makes fun of him ordering Vice President Mike Pence around. The show opens with him at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania talking about Pence leaving the Colts-49ers game because the players were kneeling. He then makes fun of Senator Bob Corker, teases a “magnificent tax plan,” reiterates his order to start saying Merry Christmas again, and throws jabs at Rex Tillerson for possibly calling him a moron.
Finally, Trump addresses Eminem's diss. “Eminem apparently did a freestyle rap on the BET network the other day. He said some very nasty things about me. And very soon I am going to release a response rap on the White Entertainment Network – HGTV. So watch your back, Eminem,” he says.
You can watch the full cold open above.