SNL’s Fox News parody cold open isn’t far off the real thing

Saturday Night Live amped up the Fox News caravan hysteria … slightly.

Saturday Night Live returned from hiatus Saturday, just in time for the midterms — though with Alec Baldwin, the show’s own Donald Trump, notably absent, the writers turned to the rest of the cast to take aim at Fox News and its anti-immigrant fear-mongering of the last few weeks.

Kate McKinnon brought back her impersonation of Fox News host Laura Ingraham for a special SNL edition of The Ingraham Angle, only slightly exaggerated from the real thing. Turning first to the thing on every Fox News producer’s mind — “the caravaaaan” of Central American migrants en route to the US’s southern border — McKinnon’s Ingraham described the “dozens, maybe millions of illegal immigrants … headed straight for you and your grandchildren.” The segment repeatedly cut to “footage” of the caravan, showing everything from shoppers flooding into a store during Black Friday sales, to a scene from Brad Pitt’s apocalyptic horror movie World War Z, to… crabs. (Yes, the crustacean).

Cecily Strong stopped by as fellow Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro to inform viewers that the caravan contains “everyone you’ve ever seen in your nightmares … Guatemalans, Mexicans, ISIS, the Menendez brothers, the 1990 Detroit Pistons, and several Babadooks.” This sentence — along with her claim that the caravan contained “hella Aladdins,” who have apparently flown from Iran to Guatemala to join the caravan, claiming their elephants as service animals on the flight — may sound ridiculous, but it’s not that much more far-fetched than President Donald Trump’s actual claim that the caravan contains “unknown Middle Easterners.”

The real Fox News is stoking racial fears by implying the caravan’s arrival is imminent (not to mention that it will bring disease outbreaks), but SNL’s Fox News made it clear that the caravan is still weeks away from the US-Mexico border. As Keenan Thompson’s Sheriff David Clarke told Ingraham, the caravan will easily make it to the border in time to (illegally) vote if they walk at a “normal pace of 300 miles a day.”

McKinnon also brought back her cheap but satisfying Ingraham gag from April, in which she mocked the Fox personality for the loss of her major sponsors, and thanked those “brands” that remained after Ingraham mocked Parkland survivor David Hogg. This time: “Warm Ice Cream,” “My Hemorrhoid Doughnut,” “Medical Sneakers,” and “White Castle: ‘A castle for whites? Yes please.’”

It’s likely McKinnon’s Ingraham was needed to step in and make these racist caravan claims — instead of SNL delivering them straight from the horse’s mouth — because the show’s own President Trump was otherwise occupied: Alec Baldwin, who reprised his recurring role as the president in the season’s second episode, was arrested on Friday after allegedly punching a man over a parking spot in the West Village. The writers couldn’t resist taking a friendly Fox News-ified dig at their absent Trump, calling him a “disgraced former actor—seen here molesting a young boy scout,” before flashing an image of him and Adam Sandler in classic SNL sketch “Canteen Boy.”

Saturday’s pre-taped sketches also included a parody political ad from the Democrats, featuring a range of liberals who are definitely not feeling nervous about Tuesday at all.