Brow Beat

On Saturday Night Live’s Cold Open, Laura Ingraham Looks Into Voter Fraud, Facebook, and, of Course, Vaping

Kate McKinnon as Laura Ingraham.
That sneer! NBC

Saturday Night Live returned to familiar ground for this week’s cold open, as Kate McKinnon skewered Fox News host Laura Ingraham for the second time in a single month. Usually, when SNL replicates the look and feel of a news show, it’s just a framing device for jokes about politicians. With a few notable exceptions, like The McLaughlin Group, the show itself is not the target of the sketch. But Ingraham is so cartoonishly awful that her show has graduated from object to subject, and this week Kate McKinnon performed essentially an entire episode of The Ingraham Angle, complete with an opening editorial monologue, a segment with Jeanine Pirro, and interviews with Mark Zuckerberg, Marcia Fudge, and “the self-proclaimed ‘Vape God,’ ” Tom Scibelli:

Like any show where different segments address different topics—SNL, for instance—McKinnon’s version of The Ingraham Angle has its ups and downs. (This puts it well ahead of the actual Ingraham Angle, which is downs all the way down.) The highlight is the opening monologue on voter fraud, which provides a quick primer in how Fox News floats toxic ideas while maintaining plausible deniability:

Let’s talk about the rampant voter fraud that allowed Democrats to literally steal the election. Some have claimed that suburban women revolted against the Republican Party, but doesn’t it feel more true that all Hispanics voted twice? You can’t dismiss that idea simply because it isn’t true and sounds insane.

Cecily Strong’s Jeanine Pirro, the best part of the last Ingraham Angle segment, is just as good here, somehow spewing so much crazy that McKinnon has to play straight man for a few minutes. Pete Davidson’s appearance requires a little context, though, because McKinnon isn’t kidding when she says this guy really was on Laura Ingraham’s show:

Davidson’s segment dovetails nicely with SNL’s running joke about Ingraham’s remaining advertisers: A show that books the “Vape God” is probably not going to be around for very much longer. In the non-SNL world, unfortunately, The Ingraham Angle is doing great in the ratings, Vape God or no Vape God. What a joke.