Last Thursday, millions of Americans tuned in to watch Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh give testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee about an alleged high school sexual assault. It was dramatic, emotional, and for many people, left dozens of questions unanswered.
There was no closure on the matter, but to help America’s wounds heal, SNL did what SNL does best: A 13-minute cold open featuring a shouty Matt Damon shotgunning water, Kate McKinnon playing an indignant Lindsey Graham, and enough weepy references to a calendar to make everyone happy.
The skit starts with a Fox News framing that perfectly encapsulates the media spectacle of last Thursday, and transitions right to the beginning of Kavanaugh’s testimony. Rather than focusing on the details of the question at hand — the sexual assault — SNL instead sends up all the absurdities of Kavanaugh’s testimony.
All the small details that people didn’t have time to process during the actual testimony — Kavanaugh’s water-spilling, the craziness of the hired female prosecutor, the surprisingly wide range of emotions over a calendar — got their few minutes of air time here. It’s easy to say that a 13-minute cold open is about three times too long, but one-liners like the keg-half-full gag and Damon’s self-referential lines, like “I’m going to start at an 11 and take it to a 15” all worked out well.
Overall, it’s not going to go down as SNL‘s tightest writing in history, but the strong acting and the extremely raw subject matter carry it through adequately, and if you sat through eight hours of testimony last week, the 13-minute skit is well worth your viewing attention.