NBC's "Saturday Night Live" returned but held off attacking Republicans and former President Donald Trump, instead laughing with, not at, President Joe Biden and mocking moderate Democrats for stalling progressives' massive spending agenda.
"How was everybody’s summer?" comic James Austin Johnson said in the cold open, debuting as Biden. "Mine was bad — not Cuomo bad, but definitely not Afghanistan good.
"Everyone keeps rising me about the drone strike. But on the bright side I went the entire summer without falling down the stairs once."
Johnson as Biden also made light of the Taliban's swift takeover of Afghanistan, handing control of the country back to the terrorist group before the 20th anniversary of 9/11, saying "Broadway is back" to wild cheers.
But "so is the Taliban – so win some, lose some," Johnson joked.
Comic Cecily Strong was particularly critical as Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. Sinema helped orchestrate the bipartisan $1.2 infrastructure bill on Republicans' reported condition it would not be paired with the $3.5 trillion social benefits budget reconciliation bill progressives and Biden had demanded to be paired with.
But for her bipartisan work, Sinema was mocked like it came from petulant grade-schooler, suggesting she had no friends for opposing the progressive spending agenda.
"What do I want from this bill?" Strong said as Sinema. "I'll never tell because I didn't come to Congress to make friends. And so far, mission accomplished."
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was not spared either for his opposition to the massive spending goals of progressives. Johnson as Biden called Aidy Bryant's Manchin "the de facto president of the United States" for holding a different view than other senators on the lack of urgency" for massive budget spending.
The end of the sketch also made more light of disgraced former New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo's resignation amid sexual harassment allegations, as played by Pete Davidson.
"Us Democrats have had each other's backs no matter what," Davidson said as Cuomo. "We're like one big Italian family, and you know what Italians like to do? Hug, and kiss, and rub their fingers up each others' backs."
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