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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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    ‘SNL’ cold open: Facebook unites Republicans and Democrats — in befuddlement

    “Saturday Night Live” in this weekend’s cold open found one thing that could unite both Democratic and Republican senators  – they’re all too old to understand Facebook.

    In the show’s opening sketch, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Mikey Day), chair of the subcommittee that heard testimony last week from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, thanked her for appearing before Congress. 

    “Thank you. It’s nice to be in an office with no skateboards,” Haugen (Heidi Gardner) answered. 

    She said that as a former Facebook engineer she believed the social media site could “harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy.”

    “I appreciate all that,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. (Cecily Strong), answered. “My question is, I have 2,000 friends on Facebook. Is that good? … Like is that a lot? 2,000 sounds like a lot.” 

    She then asked how many friends rapper Drake has, wondering if it was around 4,000.

    Haugen said the number of Drake devotees was closer to 50 million. 


    “Well, no wonder he never answered my poke,” Strong’s Feinstein said in astonishment. 

    Sen. John Kennedy, R-La. (Kyle Mooney), then told Haugen he was disturbed by her testimony about Facebook’s algorithms and promptly asked “Where is it?” and began moving his hands outward for her to let him know “how big” the algorithm is.

    “Do you have it with you now?” he asked.

    Pictured from left: Musical guest Halsey, host Kim Kardashian West, and Cecily Strong during promos for ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Oct. 7, 2021.
    (Getty Images)

    “Uh, no, but there are algorithms in all our phones and computers,” Haugen answered.

    “Not mine, I’ve got a Jitterbug flip phone,” he informed, brandishing an old-school red cell. 

    Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. (Chris  Redd), used the hearing to remind everyone he’s dating actress Rosario Dawson. 

    “So my question is: Does that make sense? Right? Like when I stand next to her in a photo, that looks regular, right?”

    Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (Aidy Bryant), Kennedy and Feinstein then all had questions about the memes (Cruz called it “meh-may”) that were showing up on their feeds, including an image from an old book series “Animorphs” of a girl gradually changing into a mouse.

    Feinstein worried that Facebook was pressuring teens “to slowly morph into mice.”

    “Is this the Stuart Little Challenge?” she asked.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., (James Austin Johnson) said the meme reminded him of something he saw on the dark web, which prompted Cruz to ask if the dark web was the “same thing as Black Twitter.” 

    “Order, please! Stop showing Ms. Haugen memes you found online,” Blumenthal pleaded, pounding the gavel. 

    “It’s meh-may,” Cruz corrected. 

    Blumenthal then quickly shut down Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s attempt at a video response, opting to bring in the “OG social media king” — Tom from MySpace.

    “Remember me? I was harmless,” said MySpace co-founder Tom Anderson, (Pete Davidson) who became lovingly known just as “Tom,” every MySpace user’s first friend on the outmoded social media platform.

    “I’m not doing any of the weird algorithm stuff. We barely maintain the website. So come on by and check out your friend’s band from 20 years ago and let’s make America top eight again,” he said.


    Reality TV star Kim Kardashian guest-hosted the show with musical guest Halsey, who was joined onstage by Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. 

    Others making cameo appearances during the evening included Kardashian’s mother Kris Jenner; comedian Chris Rock; wrestler-turned-actor John Cena; and NBA player Blake Griffin.

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