“Saturday Night Live” welcomed an unexpected guest as part of the comedy show’s cold open sequence this weekend.
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley appeared as part of a sendup of a CNN Town Hall set in South Carolina. She appeared as herself, a “concerned citizen” among the audience members posing questions to former President Donald Trump (played by James Austin Johnson).
After the Town Hall’s hosts – Kenan Thompson playing Charles Barkley and Punkie Johnson as Gayle King – kicked things off, the former South Carolina governor sparred with Johnson-as-Trump about why he won’t debate her, his legal fees and the primary race.
When Johnson’s Trump quipped he is going to beat her in her home state, Haley pointedly asked him whether he won his own home state of New York in the 2020 presidential race.
“I won Staten Island and the part of Long Island where the fist fights happen,” he responded.
The night’s host, “Bear” star and recent Emmy winner Ayo Edebiri, then appeared in the Town Hall audience, with a question directed to Haley. She asked what Haley would “say was the main cause of the Civil War,” in reference to the presidential candidate’s controversial remarks late last year.
“Do you think it starts with an ‘S’ and ends with a ‘lavery’?” Edebiri asked.
“Yep, I probably should have said that the first time,” Haley replied.
At the end of the skit, Haley was the one to say “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” as is customary at the start of the long-running NBC series.
It was the hosting debut for Edebiri, with Jennifer Lopez returning to “SNL” as musical guest. Lopez was last musical guest only in 2000. She has also hosted three times, in 2001, 2010 and 2019.
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