“Saturday Night Live” kicked off by having fun with Ted Cruz’s outrage over “Sesame Street’s” recent push to get kids vaccinated.
The Nov. 13 show’s cold open presented a program airing on the fictional network Newsmaxx Kids: a version of “Sesame Street” created by Senator Ted Cruz (as played by Aidy Bryant) called “Cruz Street,” which Cruz introduced by saying “it’s a gated community.” A host of familiar faces came through as Cruz taught kids the dangers of everything from Critical Race Theory to the COVID-19 vaccine.
The real Ted Cruz took a drubbing last week when he criticized Big Bird for urging kids to get vaccinated against COVID-19. On Nov. 6, Big Bird tweeted from his official account that he had received the COVID-19 vaccine, adding that it would give his body “an extra protective boost that keeps me and others healthy” following an episode of “Sesame Street” devoted to making kids feel safe about getting vaccinated. This came in the wake of the FDA approving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 and up.
In the “SNL” cold open’s “Cruz Street,” Pete Davidson appeared as Joe Rogan, hawking zinc and horse medicine as alternative treatment to a version of Big Bird who showed up to complain about adverse vaccine side effects (“My feathers fell out, my nuts got huge, and my doink don’t work. It’s real bad, man.”). Davidson’s Rogan didn’t leave without a reference to the podcast host’s recent comments that he could potentially perform fellatio on himself if he wanted to. “Today’s two letter sponsors are S and D, as in I can S my own D,” Davidson’s Rogan said.
The cold open also saw a very happily engaged Bert and Ernie show up, making allusions to their same-sex relationship that completely flew over Cruz’s head. And Cecily Strong appeared as an AR-15-wielding Marjorie Taylor Greene, while Chris Redd played Oscar the Slouch in a segment in which Cruz tackled unemployment.
And of course, a Ted Cruz segment wouldn’t be complete without a Trump reference, as the Senator threw to commercial by teasing an appearance by “The Recount Count.”
Watch the full cold open above.