In The Know

‘SNL’ parodies Biden strategizing with TikTok stars

“Saturday Night Live” opened with a parody showing President Biden meeting with TikTok stars to help tackle disinformation regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

“This week, as the war in Ukraine intensified, access to Facebook and Instagram across the country was shut off, leaving only one source of information: TikTok,” the narrator says at the start of the skit.

Kate McKinnon, playing White House press secretary Jen Psaki, says she suggested Biden meet with the TikTok personalities as a joke, but then it actually happened.

“People are saying this is the first war fought on TikTok, which is tough for me because I’m the landline of presidents,” James Austin Johnson’s Biden tells the group. 

“I understand [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. I understand war,” he adds. “But there’s one thing I don’t understand: computer.”

“He means technology, but he says computer,” McKinnon’s Psaki explains, adding that they need ideas on how to win the information war on social media.

Chloe Fineman, who plays a character named “Actress from the CW,” says, “While Putin might have tanks and bombs, there’s something even more powerful we can attack him with: poems.”

Fineman’s character appears to be a parody of the actress AnnaLynne McCord, who in a video posted last month read her poem titled “Dear Mister President Vladimir Putin.” The video was widely criticized and parodied across social media. 

When Psaki asks for other suggestions, Fineman’s character says, “Here are five ways to stop the war in Ukraine,” before starting to dance and pose silently. 

When Johnson’s Biden asks what is going on, McKinnon’s Psaki replies, “I think she’s expecting text to show up.”

Andrew Dismukes, who plays a TikTok prankster, next suggests pushing Putin down a flight of stairs. Chris Redd, who plays singer Jason Derulo, only sings his own name in response to Psaki.

Biden later asks Aidy Bryant, playing a 12-year-old girl who says she does animal makeup for kids, what the U.S. can do “to win this war.” 

“Oh, you mean the one started by your son Hunter Biden?” she asks.
 
“You know, you don’t expect the animal makeup girl to be alt-right,” says Johnson’s Biden.
 
Suggestions continue to pour in before Bowen Yang interrupts as “that guy who does a bunch of insane tricks using the toilet plunger stuck to my nipple.”
 
“We were actually about to wrap this meeting up because it was clearly a bad idea,” McKinnon’s Psaki says.
 
Psaki and National Security Council special adviser for communications Matt Miller did brief around 30 social media creators covering Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

This story was updated at 10:15 a.m.

Tags Biden Jen Psaki Joe Biden SNL TikTok Vladimir Putin

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