Saturday Night Live is often political, and this weekend’s “cold open” upped the ante with a surprise cameo from the actual Nikki Haley, playing herself, as she grilled James Austin Johnson’s Donald Trump during a CNN Town Hall.
The sketch itself began as several others focused on Johnson’s Trump impression, and was largely a showcase for his impressive impersonation.
However, the surprising highlight came when the town hall moderators took questions from the audience and one of those in the audience was Haley herself, who used her time in the spotlight to poke fun at Trump — and attempt to make herself look good.
After Johnson’s Trump mistook Haley for Nancy Pelosi, Haley quipped, “Are you doing OK, Donald? You might need a mental competency test.”
“I took the test and I aced it. Perfect score,” Johnson’s Trump shot back. “They said I’m 100 percent mental.”
Before the sketch closed, SNL host Ayo Edebiri was called on to ask a question for Haley herself.
“I was just curious, what would you say was the main cause of the civil war? And do you think it starts with an ‘S’ and ends with a ‘Lavery?'”
“Yep. I probably should have said that the first time,” Haley replied, trying to laugh off the critique. The moment was in reference to a town hall debate in December when Haley was asked about the reasons for the Civil War, and she failed to mention slavery in her answer, generating a great deal of criticism and backlash.
It seems that SNL is facing some backlash for having Haley on the show in the first place, as many on both ends of the political spectrum took to Twitter to slam the cameo.
Saturday Night Live airs live, coast-to-coast at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT on NBC, and streams live on Peacock.