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Matt Damon Plays Raging Bro Brett Kavanaugh in Saturday Night Live‘s Season Premiere

The supreme court nominee gets skewered in a jam-packed cold open.

The 44th season of Saturday Night Live premiered last night, with a cold open skewering Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. Special guest Matt Damon made a surprise appearance as Kavanaugh, giving a blisteringly funny performance that depicted Kavanaugh as a raging, overgrown frat boy. Damon’s performance, like Melissa McCarthy’s brilliant Sean Spicer impression, is another great riff on the impotent, toxic men in Trump’s orbit.

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Damon started by shouting, “Let me tell you this: I’m gonna start at an 11, and I’m gonna take it up to about a 15 real quick!”, mimicking Kavanaugh’s blustery defensiveness and thinly veiled contempt for the democratic senators, as he yelled at Cecily Strong’s Dianne Feinstein and an always welcome Rachel Dratch as Amy Klobuchar. Several members of the cast trotted out their impressions of the Judicial Committee senators, with the highlight being Kate McKinnon’s jowly, preachy Lindsey Graham (is there any role McKinnon can’t play?). Aidy Bryant also gave a great performance as the embattled prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, who is repeatedly cut off by the men in the senate, saying “I cannot believe I flew here on Southwest for this”. A cardboard cut-out of Alyssa Milano also drew several laughs from the crowd.

Damon’s Kavanaugh went from boasting about being “the proudest, drunkest virgin you’ve ever seen” to weeping over his beloved calendars and reminiscing about his friends Tobin, Squee, Dougie One-Nut, and Gangbang Greg, while threatening “if you think I’m angry now, just wait until I get on that Supreme Court, then you’re all going to pay”, before shotgunning a can of water.

Unfortunately, the rest of the premiere didn’t match the energy of Damon’s high-strung performance. The show stumbled over the rest of its political content, and seemed not to know what to do with its host Adam Driver. Musical guest Kanye West performed with Lil Pump, with the rappers dressed as Perrier and Fuji water bottles, in what was perhaps the most meme-able musical performance in the show’s history. Kanye later returned wearing a MAGA hat, while the cast looked visibly uncomfortable behind him.

Did you watch the premiere of SNL? What did you think of Damon’s performance?

(image: NBC)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.

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