In the program’s opening segment, featuring Jim Carrey playing Joe Biden and Alec Baldwin reprising his role as Trump, the first dig came when Biden hit the “pause” button quieting Trump during a debate parody.
“Sorry, but I think we all needed a break. Isn’t that satisfying?” Biden said, according to play-by-play on the episode from the New York Times. “You can trust me because I believe in science. And karma. Now, just imagine if science and karma could somehow team up to send us all a message about how dangerous this virus can be.”
At that point, Biden turned his head and directed the next line towards a “frozen” Trump.
“I’m not saying I want it to happen. Just imagine if it did.”
That segment was followed by host Chris Rock’s opening monologue which included tackling the diagnosis.
“President Trump’s in the hospital from COVID. And I just want to say, my heart goes out to COVID,” joked Rock.
Later in the program, Michael Che and Colin Jost addressed the president’s health and wild news cycle during “Weekend Update.”
“Okay, look, this is weird because a lot of people on both sides are saying there’s nothing funny about Trump being hospitalized with coronavirus. And those people are obviously wrong,” said Che during the program. “There’s a lot funny about this.”
“Mathematically, if you were constructing a joke, this has all the ingredients you need. The problem is, it’s almost too funny. Like, it’s so on the nose. It would be like if I were making fun of people who wear belts and my pants just immediately fell down,” Che continued.
“It’s been very weird to see all these people who clearly hate Trump come out and say ‘We wish him well.’ I think a lot of them are just guilty that their first wish came true,” responded Jost.
“Look, I don’t want the president to die, obviously,” Che later noted. “Yeah, actually, I wish him a very lengthy recovery.”
Che ended the portion addressing the president’s health by talking about the 4-minute video Trump released Saturday afternoon.
“I will point out that if the situation were reversed and it was Biden who got sick, Trump would 100 percent be at a maskless rally tonight getting huge laughs doing an impression of Biden on a ventilator,” Che joked. “Just saying.”
Megan Thee Stallion hit the stage as the musical guest performing her hit single “Savage.” While wearing a black-and-white ensemble, the rapper delivered a message calling for the protection of Black people, in addition to the words “Protect Black Women” flashing on the screen behind her.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.