Saturday Night Live

‘SNL' cold open takes on Trump's post-court press conferences, VP choices and Hannibal Lecter

"I keep calling him late and great, even though he's not dead, he's not great and he's not real," James Austin Johnson as Trump said of the fictional Hannibal Lecter.

James Austin Johnson as Donald Trump on "Saturday Night Live"
Will Heath/NBC via Getty Images

The season 49 finale of "Saturday Night Live" began with a "message from former President Donald Trump," played by cast member James Austin Johnson, who gave an impression of Trump's real-life press conferences after a day in a Manhattan court room for his ongoing hush money trial.

"Thank you for coming to visit me at my cage at the zoo," Johnson as Trump said in a set looking like the barracks outside the real-life Manhattan courthouse.

Trump then said that he does not like being in court because they say "very mean" things about him as he's "trying to sleep."

"But I like being out here in the hallway outside court, daring the judge to imprison me," Trump hilariously continued. "He gave me a gag order, I said that sounds like a challenge on 'RuPaul.'"

After Trump concluded that the trial may get him sent to some place that he really does not want to go to, the White House, and that he will not testify out of "fear," the former president went on to focus on something he enjoys a lot more: Vice presidential contenders sucking up to him.

First, Trump was visited by Sen. Tim Scott, played by Devon Walker, who said he was at the trial to help "Trump win the Black vote, specifically my vote, you know, because no other Black votes though because Black people do not like me."

Scott then went on to say that he is "his own man," and that when Trump says to jump, he "doesn't ask how high, he says, 'Here comes the jump I was going to do anyway.'"

Scott was then followed by South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, played by Heidi Gardner, who was also holding a gun to a puppies head.

In real-life, Noem admitted to killing a 14-month-old dog that she said misbehaved in her recently released book.

"Nobody move or the puppy gets it," Gardner as Noem said in the sketch.

"I'm kidding. It's a fake dog, but it's a real gun," she then said.

Lastly, Trump was joined by the "late, great" Hannibal Lecter, who the real Trump called "wonderful" at a rally in New Jersey last weekend.

"I keep calling him late and great, even though he's not dead, he's not great and he's not real," Johnson as Trump said after cast member Michael Longfellow was brought out tied to a gurney like how the character Hannibal Lecter, played by Anthony Hopkins, was brought out in "The Silence of the Lambs."

"He's giving me Pence vibes," Johnson as Trump later added.

After wrapping up the cold open, "SNL" went on to perform the rest of its season 49 finale with host Jake Gyllenhaal and musical guest Sabrina Carpenter.

In his monologue, Gyllenhaal pointed out that he is the last host before the iconic sketch show holds its 50th season, where a 50th-anniversary has already been confirmed.

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