Ford/Kavanaugh Hearing Takes Over SNL Cold Open

Saturday Night Live inevitably mocked the Ford/Kavanaugh hearing on Thursday in their cold open.

Not surprisingly, Thursday’s hearing featuring Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh dominated the opening segment of the new season of Saturday Night Live:

Many correctly assumed that “Saturday Night Live” would dive straight back into politics with the cold open of its 44th season premiere, given the fiery nature of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week. But the casting decision nobody saw coming?

Matt Damon as Kavanaugh. Yes, that’s right. Matt Damon.

When Alex Moffat’s Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) asked if Kavanaugh was ready to begin the hearing, which centered on an allegation of sexual misconduct made against the judge by California professor Christine Blasey Ford, Damon’s Kavanaugh responded at full volume.

“Let me tell you this,” he said. “I’m going to start at an 11. I’m going to take it to about a 15 real quick. First of all, I showed this speech to almost no one — not my family, not my friends, not even P.J., Tobin or Squi. This is my speech.”

He then called the multiple allegations against him a “political con job, orchestrated by the Clintons and George Soros and Kathy Griffin and Mr. Ronan Sinatra,” referring to the theory that Frank Sinatra is Ronan Farrow’s actual father, before crying about his “beautiful, creepy calendars.”

A sketch about the hearing wouldn’t be complete without Grassley’s fellow committee members, of course.

Cecily Strong’s Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) attempted to ask Kavanaugh if he would agree to an FBI investigation of the allegations, to which he again responded with a reference to his calendars.

Beck Bennet’s Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) changed the subject and remarked that the Democrats are acting like cowards before proceeding to, in his own words, ”hide behind the female prosecutor we hired to act as a human shield.” Rachel Mitchell — said prosecutor, played by Aidy Bryant in an eerily accurate wig — asked everyone to stop tacking on the “female” descriptor every time they referred to her.

In another surprise appearance, Rachel Dratch played Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who tried her best to figure out if Kavanaugh drank frequently or ever blacked out in high school

Kavanaugh, as a few supercuts online have since captured, took this as an invitation to profess his deep love of beer many, many times: “Look,” he said, sniffling. “I like beer, okay? I like beer.  Boys like beer. Girls like beer. I like beer. I like beer!”

Some on the right will no doubt complain that the writers chose to use Kavanaugh as the butt of most of their jokes rather than also bringing Dr. Blasey Ford into the equation. To be honest, though, the decision makes sense largely because there wasn’t much about her appearance before the Committee that was really material for parody except perhaps that part of her testimony that included the bizarre manner in which Republican Senators hid behind a female prosecutor to conduct their questioning and the manner in which Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley would cut her off before she could develop anything resembling an effective line of questioning. Kavanaugh’s statement, and much of his testimony, on the other hand, was highly worthy of parody, and that’s exactly the direction they went. Bringing in yet another ringer, in this case Matt Damon, to play the Judge, was a masterful piece of casting, not only because Damon does bear a resemblance to Kavanaugh but because he played the role perfectly.

Here’s the video:

Just as the Ford/Kavanaugh hearings brought back references to Justice Clarence Thomas’s nomination and the allegations made against him by Anita Hill, the manner in which SNL handled the two hearings also strikes an interesting contrast marking just how much times have changed. In case you’ve forgotten, you can watch the Cold Open about the Thomas/Hill hearings that aired nearly exactly twenty-seven years ago at the link.

Times certainly have changed.

Meanwhile, the Weekend Update segment also focused on Kavanaugh and featured the return of Kate McKinnon’s masterful Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

FILED UNDER: Congress, Entertainment, Law and the Courts, Popular Culture, Supreme Court, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Teve says:

    Kate McKinnon as Lindsey Graham was EPIC.

  2. Teve says:

    And Amy Klobuchar would make an excellent 46th president.

  3. Teve says:

    The only republican president since I was in high-school (I’m 42) to win the popular vote was George W. Bush after 9/11. They can’t win fair because the public knows they suck and their plans are scams. So they cheat. They gerrymander, they throw legit dem voters off the rolls, they require photo ID, they close polling places in black areas, etc. The biggest problem with Kavanaugh being such a party apparatchik is the likelihood that he and his 4 peers vote to allow the cheating.

  4. MarkedMan says:

    I really liked McKinnon’s Ginsberg schtick. She looked like she was having fun.

  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    Damon still didn’t capture the full range of self-pity and entitled rage from this out-of-control head case.

    I stood in an orange jumpsuit wearing four-bys (handcuffs and shackles) and had a judge look down at me and say, “So, it’s the master criminal with the all girl gang,” and that son of a bitch wanted to put me in prison for 3-5. And I didn’t whine or whimper like this prep school weakling. And this guy is supposed to be some avatar of masculinity? Yeah, he’s a real Viking.

    I’d say he was a pussy but as comic Ed Gamble points out, pussies force out entire babies while balls shrink from the touch of cold water. Kavanaugh is a weak, weak, nasty little man. Real men would turn up their noses and look away out of embarrassment at this guy.

  6. Mister Bluster says:

    Just to eliminate any confusion about who was sitting at the Hill/Thomas hearings all those years ago, will the real Paul Simon please stand up.

  7. MarkedMan says:

    By the way, could someone explain the Alyssa Milano bit in the cold open?

  8. Mikey says:
  9. grumpy realist says:

    Someone else from The Kav’s background testifying to not-so-nice behaviour.

    How many of these stories do we have to get before we decide that the guy was a mean lush during high school and college–and lied about it in his testimony?

  10. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    The perjury aspect of this fiasco really needs to be pressed harder. The sexual allegations, while disturbing, will always be a he said / she said impossible to prove or disprove rabbit hole.

    Meanwhile, the entire country witnessed him committing a federal felony Thursday on national television. He’s unfit to serve – either on SCOTUS or in his current appointment to the DC Circuit – on that basis alone.

  11. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @One American:

    18 US § 1621 – Perjury. He was speaking under oath Thursday, and lied both about his drinking habits and the notations in his yearbook in response to a direct question from Klobuchar. Federal law doesn’t distinguish between degrees of perjury. If one knowingly lies under oath in a federal proceeding, however small the lie might be, it’s a violation of the statute.

    Federal felony – fines and or a maximum of five years in a federal prison – for each offense.

    You’d think a federal judge would be aware of that …

  12. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @One American:

    Nobody forced him to perjure himself. Nobody forced him to agree to be considered for this seat in full knowledge that his questionable background and past history would be examined in great detail. He had to have known that it would come out, and that makes him either arrogant or a fool. Probably both.

    If anybody has ruined his life, he need look no further than the closest mirror to see who that person was.

    The moral of this story for your side should be: do your homework and properly vet these people before you trot them out for consideration for constitutional offices.

  13. Kari Q says:


    I remember a time when Republicans thought lying under oath was a very serious thing, indeed.

  14. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @One American:

    LOL, of course you’re not a Republican. Nice non-response.

    I guess there isn’t much you guys can say about perjury committed on national television …

    Fun part? When Dems take the House in November, they can attach motions for impeachment against Kavanaugh to anything that moves. You think his life is Hell now?

    Stay tuned … 🙂

  15. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Kari Q:

    Indeed. If House Dems had any sense at all, they’d be forcing an impeachment vote regarding his current position on the DC Circuit to take place before the Senate vote on his confirmation. Put House Republicans into the position of supporting a perjurer weeks before a midterm election.

  16. rachel says:


    If anybody has ruined his life, he need look no further than the closest mirror to see who that person was.

    It’s not like he didn’t have fair warning. All he had to do was look at what happened to Ronny Jackson and some of the other failed Trump nominees.

    @HarvardLaw92: Can they do that while they’re in the minority?

  17. Timothy Watson says:

    Can anyone speak to the scope of FBI background checks on nominees? How did even a cursory background check not uncover the fact that Kavanaugh has an obvious drinking problem?

  18. James Pearce says:

    It was a good bit, but Kanye’s rant was funnier.

  19. HarvardLaw92 says:


    It’s not exactly easy to pull off, but there are ways to force a motion to a floor vote over the objections of the Speaker, yes. Even a failed effort to do that would be productive from a political standpoint.

  20. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @One American:

    I am not a Republican

    That’s fvcking hilarious. You’re so far up Dennisons ass your shoulders are stained by his orange fake tan.

    Ruin a man’s family and career over some beer in high school.

    Tell that to all the kids rotting in jail for some pot.

  21. Pylon says:

    @Timothy Watson:

    I’m willing to assume that Kavanaugh doesn’t have a present or recent drinking problem, whihc is all a reasonable background check by the FBI would consider. Really, his prep school and Yale days are only really relevant to (a) the assault accusations and (b) his really stupid perjury. He has made a bad strategic decision in thinking “if I admit I got drunk (like so many high school/college students did) they could say “well maybe you don’t remember the assault”, si I’d better just say I never got drunk”.

  22. Leonard says:

    Al Franken as a senator. Ridiculous.

  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @James Pearce: The Repeal the 13th Amendment one? Sorry, I’m not getting the joke. Maybe you can explain it.

  24. Mister Bluster says:

    @Leonard:..Al Franken as a senator. Ridiculous.

    Pork Chop Pud as President of the United States.
    Brain-dead, cretinous, imbecilic, inane, moronic…

  25. Leonard says:

    @Mister Bluster: Can you talk me through “Pork Chop Pud”?

  26. Leonard says:

    @Mister Bluster: FWIW, I think Trump as president is ridiculous too. But why did you bring up Trump (assuming “Pork Chop Pud” is Trump)? And what is “Pork Chop Pud” supposed to mean, anyway? I googled it, and got no matches. Something in your head made you think that iy was important to reply to me by criticizing Trump, caling him Pork Chop Pud as you did so. I’d love to know what you were thinking.