Hannibal Lecter Rolled Out As Potential Trump VP Choice In Short & Sharp ‘SNL’ Season-Finale Cold Open

“I’m not afraid to testify at all, I’m just not going to out of fear,” said James Austin Johnson ‘s Donald Trump from the hall of a Manhattan courthouse in the cold open tonight of the final show of SNL’s 49th season.

Set to pick up with the defense’s case on May 20, Trump’s hush money trial is never short of providing laughs as much as it is tears. However, while the courthouse was the backdrop, the focus of the beginning of tonight’s show was a potential Vice President. Sen, Tim Scott, played by Devon Walker, and dog-killing South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, portrayed by Heidi Gardner, both got a cameo, but there was only one true contender – at least according to Trump.

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“And finally, my last and favorite choice is a man I can’t stop talking about in my rallies, It’s the late great Hannibal Lector,” Johnson’s near pitch perfect Trump announced as a very wide eyed SNL featured player Michael Longfellow was wheeled in as the Silence of the Lambs killer played to Oscar winning glory by Anthony Hopkins. “There he is, I keep calling his late, great even though he’s not dead, he’s not great and he’s not real, but I think you’d really scare everybody at the border right?”

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Of course, part of Johnson’s genius at nailing Trump is how he captures the 77-year-old Art of the Deal author’s insecurities as much as his bravado. A dual impression snagged in its totality with the near throwaway lines of “get him out of here, he’s giving me Pence vibes. I don’t like this.”

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Looking forward to a summer he will spend at least the start of in court, SNL‘s Trump promised more Trump Bibles on sale with a twist and a January 6 siege of the Capitol, but this time in shorts — as you can see below:

With the testimony of former Trump fixer Michael Cohen in the ex-president’s ongoing hush money trial, the announcement of double debates between the former Celebrity Apprentice host and incumbent Biden, and the Congressional committee dust-up between always mockery giving Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX), the long running NBC late night show once again certainly wasn’t lacking for material for the cold open.

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After a season of more misses that hits with the cold open, SNL choose well with Johnson’s Trump and the VP walk of shame. The sharp just over five-minute intro was even more on the ball with the sheer nuttiness, even for the much-indicted Donald, of the past and potentially future POTUS’ belabored references to Hannibal the Cannibal at a New Jersey rally last weekend.

“The late, great Hannibal Lecter is a wonderful man,” the real Trump told his Garden State crowd on . “He oftentimes would have a friend for dinner. Remember the last scene? ‘Excuse me, I’m about to have a friend for dinner’ as this poor doctor walked by. ‘I’m about to have a friend for dinner.’ But Hannibal Lecter, congratulations. The late, great Hannibal Lecter.”

AKA – stuff you literally could not make up.

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Fresh off the news this week of a Road House sequel coming from Prime Video, Jake Gyllenhaal is hosting SNL’s Season 49 finale tonight. This is the third time the 2006 Oscar nominee has fronted the Lorne Michaels run show. He previously hosted in 2007 and 2022. Musical guest Sabrina Carpenter makes her SNL debut tonight.

Saturday Night Live will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year with a three-hour NBC primetime special on February 16 that finishes off a weekend salute on the network. Dovetailing into NBC’s Paris Olympics coverage this summer, SNL also has a Radio City Music Hall extravaganza planned.

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