The downside to hosting the first pair of Democratic debates in the summer is that “Saturday Night Live” — on hiatus until September (with no official premiere date yet announced) — has been unable to mine our introduction to the party’s crowded roster for comedy gold.
The good news is that we’ve spent a total of four nights getting to know the Democratic contenders, and we have thoughts on the cast members (and bicoastal actors) that could portray them on SNL’s upcoming season.
Our picks are presented below, with little regard for whether said person is actually available. SNL is clearly open to guest stars, so we’re dreaming big. And since not all of these candidates will make it to the debate stage come September, we’ve limited our list to those who have already made the cut, and a few others with obvious SNL counterparts and/or comedic potential.
Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.)
Maya Rudolph is a master impressionist, but she doesn’t need to be to play California’s former attorney general. The resemblance alone makes this one a no-brainer.
Jason Sudeikis has long played the former vice president on SNL. And given that he’s already worked with Rudolph on the show, the Biden-Harris battles could be in full comedic swing if the show takes our advice.
Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
Kate McKinnon is Warren, okay? From the raspy voice to the overall aesthetic, we’re not going to mess with this one.
We’ve already seen Kate McKinnon pull off a pretty great impersonation of the “orb queen,” but we simply can’t lose her as Warren. One obvious in-house alternative would be Cecily Strong. But our pie-in-the-sky pick would be — hear us out — Susan Lucci, of “All My Children” fame.
Lucci has a history with SNL — she poked fun at her notorious Emmy losing streak while hosting the show in 1990, and she was portrayed by former cast member Vanessa Bayer in a 2013 sketch that played up the soap legend’s penchant for drama. We think Lucci could tweak her voice slightly to match Williamson’s distinct lilt, which, as the Cut noted, has been described as sounding “like someone who just dumped Humphrey Bogart.” If not, maybe Bernadette Peters could lend a voice-over?
Regardless of who plays her, we hope SNL finds a way to put Williamson, dubbed a “spiritual legend” by Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand, in a skit with easily flustered Goop staffer Baskin Johns.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
Cast member Chris Redd has played the New Jersey lawmaker before, but Booker seems to think he resembles Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. Honestly, we don’t mind the comparison — especially since Johnson has expressed presidential aspirations of his own.
And, as Mashable pointed out, the wrestler turned actor already has a knack for presidential speech: Check out his thoughtful explanation for why native Hawaiian protesters are fighting against the construction of a $1.4 billion telescope at the summit of Hawaii’s tallest mountain.
Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
Larry David, obviously.
Simu Liu, the Canadian actor set to play Shang-Chi in Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” is just waiting for the call to play the tech entrepreneur. As Liu posted to social media recently, it wouldn’t be the first time one of his tweets led to a role.
Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
We’re going with former cast member Rachel Dratch, who already played Klobuchar in a memorable cold open mocking Brett M. Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court hearing.
Buttigieg already has a definitive doppelganger, but it might be difficult for the head coach of the Boston Celtics to get to 30 Rockefeller on a semiregular basis. So, our vote goes to Adam Scott, who doesn’t exactly resemble the South Bend, Ind., mayor, but essentially portrayed him on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation."
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
While we’re on the subject of “Parks and Rec” alums, let’s consider Amy Poehler to play Gillibrand, whose cameo on the beloved NBC sitcom prompted us to realize that there’s a slight resemblance here.
SNL’s Alex Moffat, best known for his less-than-flattering Eric Trump impression, already kind of looks like the former Texas congressman, so he could probably easily transform into the music-playing pol.