‘SNL’ Cold Open Sees Donald Trump Talking About His Busy Year With Presidential Campaign and Court Cases

Saturday Night Live kicked off the first show of 2024 with James Austin Johnson’s Donald Trump talking to the press about what’s in store for him this year: an election and court trials.

While speaking from a New York courtroom on Saturday’s episode, Austin’s Trump said during the cold open, “2024 is going to be a very exciting year. I’m either going to jail, be president, or frankly, The Purge. Perhaps all three,” referencing The Purge film franchise where all crimes are legal for 12 consecutive hours each year.

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Austin’s Trump also brought up the former president’s latest win at Iowa Republican presidential caucuses. “We just got back from Iowa where we won very big, very big in Iowa,” he said. “I want to congratulate Mr. [Ron] DeSantis on a truly embarrassing showing. He went to 99 counties but bitch couldn’t win one.”

He also responded to fellow Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, who recently questioned whether Trump is mentally able to serve as president following questionable comments he made at a Friday-night rally.

“I am doing very well cognitively, doing great with cognitive. I think I’m doing great with cognitive. I’m more cognitive than ever,” Johnson’s Trump said. “The doctor said, ‘Sir, you have to be in the top 99 percent of all the concussion and dementia people we give this test to.’ I said, ‘Wow, I guess I’m very good at recognizing elephants,’ who knew, and now we’re here.”

Apart from this year’s election, Trump is also at the center of a handful of criminal and civil cases. He is expected to be in a courtroom on Monday, one day before the New Hampshire presidential primary, for the second civil trial brought by E. Jean Carroll. Last year, a jury found Trump liable of sexual assault of Carroll, and the second trial is mostly to determine damages.

“We’ve seen a lot of success saying things that did not happen,” Johnson’s Trump said at one point during the skit. “I think we’ll continue to do that. It’s an innovation I am particularly proud of.”

Jacob Elordi made his SNL hosting debut on the first show of the new year with musical guest Reneé Rapp (Megan Thee Stallion also made a surprise appearance during one of Rapp’s performances).

During his monologue, Elordi shouted out those who saw his latest film Saltburn, which has been going viral on social media for several of its controversial scenes.

“If you saw the movie, thank you,” Elordi said. “If you saw the movie with your parents, I’m sorry. And if you saw the movie with your girlfriend, you’re welcome.”

The Euphoria actor later took some questions from the audience, and one included a remark from SNL castmember Sarah Sherman who said she thought the movie was “absolutely gross.”

Elordi responded, “Yeah, well, Saltburn really isn’t for everyone,” but Sherman quickly cut him off, asking, “What the hell is a Saltburn? I’m talking about The Kissing Booth. Two people kissing on the mouth… ew.”

The Priscilla star added, “Yeah, you know what, kissing is kind of weird when you think about it.”

Elordi recently made headlines when he said in a GQ interview in November that he “didn’t want to make those movies before I made those movies.” He appeared in the franchise’s three YA films that were released between 2018 and 2021 on Netflix.

“Those movies are ridiculous. They’re not universal. They’re an escape,” he said at the time. “How is caring about your output pretentious? But not caring, and knowingly feeding people shit, knowing that you’re making money off of people’s time, which is literally the most valuable thing that they have. How is that the cool thing?”

Rachel McAdams also made a surprise appearance during SNL‘s first show of 2024.

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