Speed Reads

'the landline of presidents'

'Biden' gets advice from TikTok influencers in new SNL cold open

Saturday Night Live's most recent cold open featured President Biden (James Austin Johnson) and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki (Kate McKinnon) asking a group of TikTok stars for advice on how to handle the war in Ukraine.

This sketch might sound absurd, but it has a basis in reality. On Thursday, the real Psaki joined with officials from the National Security Council to brief "approximately 30 creators who have been covering Russia's invasion of Ukraine on their social media channels," CNN reported.

The cold open began with Johnson-as-Biden welcoming the influencers to the meeting and thanking "Psaki" for suggesting it.

"I suggested it as a joke and then it actually happened," McKinnon-as-Psaki said.

"People are saying this is the first war fought on TikTok," Johnson-as-Biden continued, "which is tough for me because I'm the landline of presidents … I understand [Russian President Vladimir] Putin … but there's one thing I don't understand: computer."

"He means 'technology,' but he says 'computer,'" McKinnon-as-Psaki explained before "Biden" interjected, "Computer very mean to me!"

The influencers then offered their suggestions for winning the information war against Russia. "Actress from the CW" (Chloe Fineman) suggested defeating Putin with the power of poetry.

"Oh, no. It's that girl," McKinnon-as-Psaki said, referring to actress AnnaLynne McCord. Last month, McCord posted a video of herself reciting a poem in which she bizarrely claimed that if she had been Putin's mother, he would not have invaded Ukraine.

When asked for other suggestions, "Actress" touted "Five Ways to Stop the War in Ukraine" and then began dancing and pointing to empty air.

"I think she's expecting text to show up," McKinnon-as-Psaki said.

Other influencers who offered solutions included a rapper/prankster (Andrew Dismukes), singer Jason Derulo (Chris Redd), and a 12-year-old girl (Aidy Bryant) who does "silly animal make-up for kids" and also, surprisingly, is a right-wing conspiracy theorist who believes the war in Ukraine was started by Hunter Biden.