The sketch was a “Deal or No Deal: Government Shutdown Edition” that of course put guest player Alec Baldwin front and center as Donald Trump, just hours after the real-life president went on television to tell the American people he wanted to make a deal to end the shutdown. The reason the deal came in the form of a reality show, explained host Steve Harvey (played by Kenan Thompson), was because this was the “only format [he] could understand — a TV game show with women holding briefcases.”
“Saturday Night Live” then went through the various deals that have come Trump’s way since the shutdown began in December 2018. Baldwin’s Trump reminded the audience he said “no deal” to Congress’ December offer and countered with an ask of “five billion for my border wall, and in exchange I’ll extend DACA and release the kids from the cages so they can be free range kids.”
The models were then replaced by members of Congress willing to offer new deals, including Nancy Pelosi (played by Kate McKinnon), who had rejected his offer earlier in the day. Here, she offered him “one billion dollars and you say, ‘Nancy’s my mommy,'” but Baldwin’s Trump rejected it because “it’s not five billion and five billion’s the first random number I said.”
McKinnon’s Pelosi pointed out that if the government remained shutdown, Trump wouldn’t be able to give a State of the Union, but she noted it was “for security reasons [and] not because I’m vindictive or anything.”
Alex Moffat appeared as Chuck Schumer to offer Baldwin’s Trump “whatever you want.” But when McKinnon’s Pelosi popped over to remind him “we’re not doing that anymore…we’re not caving in,” he changed his offer to “$15 and a pastrami on rye.”
Despite being told that every time he chooses “no deal,” “half a million federal employees work another day without being paid,” Baldwin’s Trump still rejected that offer, too.
Beck Bennett’s Mitch McConnell tried to hide behind the briefcase when Baldwin’s Trump called upon him, so they quickly moved on to Leslie Jones’ Maxine Waters who reminded him that she could subpoena his tax records. Next up was Melissa Villasenor as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who Baldwin’s Trump mistook for Cardi B.
“Trump and the GOP are just terrified of me because I’m under 100 and I know how to use Instagram,” she said.
Also in the sketch were Chris Redd as Cory Booker, whose briefcase simply had a “Cory Booker 2020” sign inside; Mikey Day as Steve King, who said “whites”; and Ego Nwodim as Cardi B, who said, “I know this ain’t my business but [I offer] shmoney.”
Finally, it was up to Davidson, who appeared as a Clemson football player holding a White Castle box, rather than a briefcase.
“I’d still like to have him open it,” Baldwin’s Trump said. Of course, inside the card read “hamberders” and he made the deal, thus ending the shutdown.
Watch the Jan. 19 cold open below:
“Saturday Night Live” airs live coast-to-coast Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.