With Facebook and Instagram banned in Russia, President Joe Biden turned to TikTok stars to win the “information war” against Moscow on the latest installment of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”
The show opened with James Austin Johnson’s Biden huddled in the White House with young singers, rappers, pranksters and animal makeup artists, along with a middle-aged roofer that the White House confused with Charli D’Amelio and a 55-year-old man who had a toilet plunger stuck to his nipple.
The sketch was barely far-fetched; White House officials briefed 30 viral acts on the app about the war on Thursday over Zoom on Thursday.
“People are saying this is the first war fought on TikTok,” the president told the social stars. “This is tough for me because I’m the landline of presidents, that’s why I need you. I understand Putin. I understand war. There’s one thing I don’t understand: computer.”
“He means technology but he says ‘computer,’” said Press Secretary Jen Psaki, played by Kate McKinnon.
Biden was taken aback when Aidy Bryant’s cute character accused his son Hunter of starting the war in Ukraine.
“You don’t expect an animal makeup girl to be alt-right,” Johnson quipped.
The skit came to an end as the camera zoomed in on the plunger stuck to Bowen Yang’s chest as he waxed poetic about his TikTok channel achieving peace in Europe.
Host Zoë Kravitz shared her creative process for getting into character as Catwoman in “The Batman.”
“To prepare for the role I watched the movie ‘Musical Cats’ everyday for a year which I heard is the same way Joaquin Phoenix prepared for ‘The Joker,’” Kravitz told the studio audience.
A Cat-signal broadcast over Manhattan summoned Michelle Pfeiffer and Eartha Kitt’s Catwomen of yesteryear (McKinnon and Ego Nwodim) to interrupt her monologue, along with a cat lady played by Bryant, and comedian Katt Williams, spoofed by Chris Redd.
In her first skit, Kravitz played a loose-lipped maid of honor that used her wedding reception speech to inform the groom (Kyle Mooney ) that the bride (Cecily Strong) drives drunk, slept with more than 900 men, and stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
A pretaped commercial spoof extoled the virtues of a contactless Amazon Go store that bills you electronically. While white shoppers loved not having to open their wallets, customers of color Kravitz, Nwodim, Kenan Thompson and Punkie Johnson braced to be arrested for walking out of the store without paying.
McKinnon played a nerdy high school boy that needed to call a fellow geek (Bryant) for real time advice on how to flirt with Kravitz after their study date.
In a clip of “The Princess and the Frog” on the less promotable Disney- channel, Kravitz’s princess balks at kissing Redd’s frog when he explained how amphibians have sex and revealed he was the prince of Newark, New Jersey.
Redd lost interest himself when Kravitz admitted she dissected frogs in high school.
Ben Marshall, John Higgins and Martin Herlihy tore apart the writer’s room to search for a cat that they had gifted Kravitz in the latest sketch from the comedy outfit “Please Don’t Destroy.”
When the frantic search unearthed Paul Dano hiding under a couch, the actor said he was doing research for his role as the Riddler in “The Batman.”
Thompson also played a con artist who revealed to his children and their mother in a videotaped will that they would need to produce a series of movies he wrote in order to pay off the family’s debt. He also apologized to his son (Redd) for his genetic erectile dysfunction, bequeathing him a used penis pump.
Colin Jost and Michael Che satirized recent current events on “Weekend Update,” joking that news articles in Russia now had to mention shorter-than-average Russian President Vladimir Putin is “6’5 and not insane.”
“Tuesday was International Women’s Day so hopefully you remembered to smile,” Che joked.
The fake anchor also followed up on The Post’s article about New York City straphangers being nonplussed by a man peeing in a subway car during rush hour.
“They were probably too nervous to say something because I’m on TV,” he cracked.
A week after a guestless segment, the fake anchors welcomed Kyle Mooney as Dan Bulldozer, a muscle-bound bearded Instagram influencer based on Dan Bilzerian.
Bulldozer bragged about snowboarding with bazookas and sleeping with hundreds of models on yachts, but admitted he struggles to find happiness and wear shirts.
Alex Moffat also joined the anchor desk as Terry Fink, a Oscar critic high on LSD.
Fink was under the false impression that Johnny Knoxville made “Belfast,” and explained how a screening of “Encanto” convinced him to sell his kidney for dogecoin.
Andrew Dismukes played the exasperated host of a “Word Crunch” game where contestant Kravitz could not stop making up lewd compound words.
The final skit saw Yang becoming very animated and emotional as he explained the power of a brass band rendition of “Don’t Stop Believin’” to his brunch buddies.
“The instruments are doing the thing Steven Tyler was singing,” Bowen explained.
“Steven Tyler wasn’t in Journey,” Nwodim shot back.
“Doesn’t matter!” Yang exclaimed, as his dance moves knocked over waiter trays.
Spanish singer Rosalía performed her new songs “CHICKEN TERIYAKI” and “LA FAMA” in a rare non-English “SNL” performance.
The cast’s reigning tabloid king Pete Davidson was once again conspicuously absent as he continued to film a movie.
The show will return next week with its fourth straight live episode, hosted by Kieran Culkin, with musical performances from Ed Sheehan.