Matt Damon surprises fans with an appearance in Saturday Night Live’s season 44 cold open, playing embattled SCOTUS nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. It hasn’t been a great few weeks for Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s second nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court after less than two years in office. With Trump’s own Republican party in control of the Senate, Kavanaugh looked poised to sail through the confirmation process. Unfortunately for him, that hasn’t turned out to be the case.
Following the conclusion of his confirmation hearings in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh was accused of attempted rape by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who alleged that a highly intoxicated 17-year-old Kavanaugh had tried to force himself on her during a high school house party. Kavanaugh adamantly denied the accusation, but has subsequently been accused of sexual misconduct by three more women. This past Thursday, Kavanaugh and Ford went in front of the committee to testify about her accusation against him.
While those who believe Kavanaugh innocent might consider his behavior justified, perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of his hearing opposite Ford was the judge’s combative and furious demeanor, including a long statement about how he felt the accusations against him were part of a smear campaign by the liberal side of the political aisle. It’s this argumentative and loud Kavanaugh that Damon embodied via his portrayal of the nominee during SNL’s season 44 cold open. The full sketch isn’t yet available online, but a clip of Damon as Kavanaugh can be seen below.
Over the course of the sketch, multiple members of the SNL cast were provided the opportunity to portray senators on the judiciary committee, including a guest appearance by former cast member Rachel Dratch as Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar. Perhaps the most hilarious bit of unconventional casting was SNL chameleon Kate McKinnon’s turn as South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, Kavanaugh’s most vocal Republican defender during the hearing. Also notable was Pete Davidson’s take on Rhode Island’s Sheldon Whitehouse.
Obviously, one’s enjoyment of the Brett Kavanaugh sketch will likely depend quite a bit on what side of the Kavanaugh confirmation debate one resides on. At this point though, SNL’s tendency to pull no punches in its sketches about the Trump administration or right-wing politics in general is well-known, and anyone still tuning in has no reason to be surprised at the treatment Kavanaugh received. What they might well have been genuinely surprised about though is that Matt Damon stopped by to play him.