As one might expect, tonight's episode of Saturday Night Live opened with a skit based on the current political landscape, featuring Beck Bennett's portrayal of Vice President Mike Pence. A rotating cast of various characters were on hand to support, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Matthew Broderick) and Rudy Giuliani (Kate McKinnon). After disappearing for the second half of the skit, McKinnon returned with a surprise for fans of the Clown Prince of Crime — she was in full Joker makeup.
The actor appeared on screen in a clown makeup eerily similar to that of Joaquin Phoenix's in the latest DC Comics film for just a moment before she and Bennett officially kicked the show off with the iconic "Live from New York..." line. The 12-minute sketch can be seen in its entirety above.
Believe it or not, that wasn't the only time the film was referenced. Not even half an hour later, the show poked fun at Joker again in a hilarious news skit joking about people who dress up as the character. Through Friday night, Joker has made a whopping $90 million worldwide, on track to break the record for the largest October opening ever — something set this time last year by Sony's Venom standalone film.
The production hasn't been short of controversy, from concerns about the story invoking potential mass shooting threats to director Todd Phillips speaking his mind, though it might not be popular with the masses. In one case, Phillips blamed the concerns surrounding his film on "woke culture."
“Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture,” Phillips said. “There were articles written about why comedies don’t work anymore—I’ll tell you why, because all the f*cking funny guys are like, ‘F*ck this sh*t, because I don’t want to offend you.’ It’s hard to argue with 30 million people on Twitter. You just can’t do it, right? So you just go, ‘I’m out.’ I’m out, and you know what? With all my comedies—I think that what comedies in general all have in common—is they’re irreverent. So I go, ‘How do I do something irreverent, but f*ck comedy? Oh I know, let’s take the comic book movie universe and turn it on its head with this.’ And so that’s really where that came from.”
Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays at 11:30/10:30 p.m. Central on NBC.