Speed Reads

live from new york

SNL tackles Raiders coach Jon Gruden's resignation in cold open

Saturday Night Live in its latest cold open tackled the resignation of Las Vegas Raiders Coach Jon Gruden over racist, misogynistic, and homophobic emails — which, in SNL's case, somehow resulted in LeVar Burton getting the job. 

The SNL sketch opened with Colin Jost's Roger Goodell taking the lectern at a press conference to address the Gruden scandal. "One of our coaches is accused of racism, misogyny, and homophobia," he said. "But hey, at least no one's talking about concussions." 

New SNL cast member James Austin Johnson played Gruden, telling Raiders fans, "I hope you won't judge me on one email I sent 10 years ago, or the 20 emails I sent last Tuesday." He went on to offer a preposterous explanation that his emails were somehow the product of various autocorrect snafus. 

"My point is, I never meant to hurt anyone," SNL's Gruden said. "I meant to hurt them secretly, behind their backs." 

From there, the sketch saw Pete Davidson's Larry Rucker take over as Raiders head coach, only to immediately have to resign himself due to his own scandal. "They just found my emails, too, and they are so much worse than the old coach's," he explained, adding, "Thank you, and I look forward to joining ESPN in three months." An equipment manager even became coach in the sketch before also needing to resign. 

Eventually, Chris Redd's Colin Kaepernick came out to wonder if "anyone tried to warn people" that "the NFL is maybe racist." The sketch ended with the Raiders announcing a "solution that makes everyone happy, someone even Twitter can get behind," hiring former Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton as head coach. Referring to Burton's efforts to become the new host of Jeopardy!, Kenan Thompson's Burton declared, "Suck on that, Mayim Bialik!" Watch the full sketch below.