Saturday Night Live cold open: Jon Gruden, Roger Goodell, & LeVar Burton

SNLSo far this season Saturday Night Live has delivered some memorable cold opens — though not all of them have been obvious. There was a time when it was pretty easy to call what some of these sketches were going to be. That’s not so much the case this season.

At the start of tonight’s Rami Malek episode, we got a message from the National Football League that was all about one subject: Jon Gruden. Cecily Strong introduced Roger Goodell, who was shockingly played by Weekend Update co-anchor Colin Jost. We thought it was possible that the show could lead with this, but sports stories aren’t always mainstream. That’s especially the case with a story like this, which we weren’t sure every viewer out there was going to be aware of.

With that being said, it’s easy to know why SNL would go with this. The comments that Gruden made in real-life emails were so appalling, and they led to a rare resignation for an NFL coach midseason. Typically if something goes wrong with a coach during the season, they get fired and that’s it. There were a few good lines in here, but ultimately, the sketch itself was a little too scattershot. They gave us, ultimately, too different characters in between Goodell, Gruden, Mark Davis, and then some made-up people that the show chose to have some fun with. Take, for example, the equipment manager who resigned immediately.

The most biting part of the entire cold open was probably the appearance of the Washington Football Team cheerleader, who was played by Heidi Gardner in ridiculous fashion almost like it was her movie critic character from Weekend Update. The sketch closed with Chris Redd as Colin Kaepernick, and then also Kenan Thompson as LeVar Burton, which wasn’t really an impression so much as him talking about Jeopardy! before singing the Reading Rainbow theme song.

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What did you think about tonight’s Saturday Night Live cold open?

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