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SNL Satirizes Trump’s Legal Battles and 2024 Presidential Run in Opening Sketch

Saturday Night Live kicked off its 2024 season with a parody focused on former President Trump’s ongoing legal battles and his participation in the presidential race. The opening sketch humorously depicted a scene outside a fictional New York City courtroom.

Chloe Fineman as Trump’s Attorney, Alina Habba

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In the sketch, Chloe Fineman portrayed Alina Habba, Trump’s attorney. Her performance humorously highlighted Habba’s inexperience, with Fineman’s character openly admitting to being new to the legal field and still learning.

Trump’s Defamation Trial Parody

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The show referenced Trump’s recent defamation trial in New York City, where a jury was convened to decide the compensation for defaming E. Jean Carroll. This trial followed a previous jury’s conclusion that Trump had sexually abused Carroll in the 1990s and later defamed her, which Trump denies.

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James Austin Johnson as Donald Trump

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James Austin Johnson took on the role of Donald Trump, humorously mocking his own legal team. Johnson’s Trump complimented Fineman’s Habba for her television presence but jokingly criticized her as possibly the worst lawyer he’s ever had.

Trump Mocks His Legal Team

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In the sketch, Johnson’s Trump humorously addressed his legal team, stating they wouldn’t be paid and calling them “the bottom of the barrel.” This was a jab at the real Trump’s legal challenges and the lawyers representing him.

Trump’s Comments on the Judge and Gag Order

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Johnson’s Trump then proceeded to mock the judge in his case and the gag order imposed on him. He jokingly said he wouldn’t comment on the judge’s intelligence, residence, or car, despite the gag order, which was a reference to a real $10,000 fine Trump received for violating a similar order.

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Trump in the 2024 Election Race

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The focus then shifted to the 2024 election, with Johnson’s Trump remaining the GOP frontrunner. He referenced his recent win in the Iowa caucuses and mockingly congratulated his opponents, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, on their performances.

Trump’s Jabs at Ron DeSantis

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Johnson’s Trump humorously nicknamed Ron DeSantis “Ron DeStupid,” mocking his performance in the Iowa caucuses. He continued with his satirical remarks, indicating the competitive nature of the presidential race.

Trump’s Comment on Vivek Ramaswamy

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The sketch included a nod to biotech executive Vivek Ramaswamy, who had recently dropped out of the race and endorsed Trump. Johnson’s Trump humorously remarked that Ramaswamy would now “live in his suit pocket,” referring to him as “my little ‘Ratatouille.'”

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Trump’s Comparison to Biden

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Johnson’s Trump compared himself to President Biden, his likely rival, with a controversial joke about Biden’s behavior and a reference to a video of Trump with Jeffrey Epstein. This was a satirical take on the scrutiny both political figures face.

Trump’s Stance on Debates and Elections

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The sketch also touched on Trump’s absence from the GOP debate stage and his unique approach to elections. Johnson’s Trump claimed his supporters’ loyalty negates the need for traditional campaigning.

Trump’s Final Remark: Jail, Presidency, or ‘The Purge’

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Concluding the nearly five-minute dialogue, Johnson’s Trump humorously speculated about his future in 2024. He suggested  he might end up in jail, become president, or experience a scenario akin to ‘The Purge,’ referencing the film where all crime is legal for a day.

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