'Saturday Night Live' Mocks Latest Democratic Debate With Star-Studded Cold Open

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Saturday Night Live
NBC

The final Saturday Night Live of the year pulled out all the stops to close out 2019 with a bang -- starting with their politically charged and cameo-filled cold open which lampooned the recent Democratic debates.

The cold open, which was similar to the many other democratic debate sketches this season, proved to be something of a impression parade that gave a lot of the cast, and some guest stars, a chance to shine with their take on one of the candidates.

As usual, Kate McKinnon kicked things off with her high-energy take on Elizabeth Warren, and she excitedly celebrated the debate being hosted by PBS NewsHour.

"I'm in my element! PBS is my safe word," Warren quipped.

Bowen Yang reprised his frustrated Andrew Yang, and explained how he's decided to just don a virtual reality headset: "In here, I'm the frontrunner!"

Colin Jost busted out his most bland suit to play Pete Buttigieg -- a role he's becoming increasingly more comfortable in -- and came out swinging in the most respectful way possible.

"Tonight, I'll be in attack mode," he said, trying to sound bold. "If that's OK with you."

He also defended his recent high-profile donation campaign fundraiser by pointing out that he's the only candidate at the debate who isn't a millionaire or a billionaire.

"I live on my mayor's salary, plus 20 dollars a week allowance from my parents, and that's only if I do my chores," Jost's Buttigieg said.

Once again, Larry David returned to play Bernie Sanders, who introduced himself with a very straightforward address: "I'm Bernie Sanders, I'm white, I can't help it! Let's move on."

Meanwhile, several other SNL alums returned to the stage yet again, with Fred Armisen playing Michael Bloomberg, Rachel Dratch as Amy Klobuchar and, even though Kamala Harris has dropped out of the race, that didn't keep Maya Rudolph from returning and stealing the spotlight.

"I just wanted to show you how good you could had it, America," Rudolph's Harris said, before channeling Lizzo (who also happened to be the night's musical guest). "So I walked my fine a** out the door. You coulda had a bad b**ch."

Jason Sudeikis made a surprising return as Joe Biden -- a role he's played many times until this season, when Woody Harrelson was tapped to portray the former VP. However, it seems Harrelson was unavailable this week, which gave us the totally delightful return of Jason Sudeikis' charmingly friendly take on the politician.

Even Cecily Strong's Tulsi Gabbard dropped in, surprising Klobuchar who gasped, "Tulsi Gabbard!?"

"Present," Strong's Gabbard said with a smile, referring to her controversial vote on the impeachment of Donald Trump.

Speaking of whom, Alec Baldwin actually made a surprise appearance as the embattled president, who took the stage to challenge the other candidates directly.

However, he got interrupted by Nancy Pelosi (also played by McKinnon, who pulled double duty as two characters in the cold open, which must have required one amazing quick change).

"I bought you some gifts," Pelosi said with a smile as she held up some gift bags. "Two articles of impeachment."

The incredible star-power of the cold open might have something to do with the the return of Eddie Murphy, who served as the night's host for the first time in 35 years.

And the cameos didn't end with the cold open. During Murphy's monologue, he was joined on stage by Dave Chappelle, Chris Rick and Tracy Morgan, and for some reason Usher was on stage during the closing goodbyes.

For more on Murphy's return to Studio 8H, check out the video below.

SNL airs live, coast-to-coast at 11:30 p.m. ET, 8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.

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