Saturday Night Live for decades has turned around parodies of political forums. But perhaps none has been so queer as the Pose-inspired send-up this week of the CNN Town Hall on LGBTQ Equality.
The sketch show brought Billy Porter on set to introduce candidates ballroom style. And each candidate worthy of parody ended up with a zingy intro. Porter called former Vice President Joe Biden a “Delaware Daddy” and heralded South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg as “representing the House of Booty-gig.”
In a reference to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s internet-breaking quip on marriage equality, Porter interrupted right after Kate McKinnon’s Warren repeated the real candidate’s opening “I'm going to assume it is a guy who said that.”
“Oh snap, the library’s open and Miss Thang is about to get real,” Porter chimed.
Then McKinnon raced through a series of seemingly standard answers that shifted to insults (i.e. “If someone doesn’t want to serve gay people at their small business, I bet that’s not the only thing that’s small.”)
Warren quickly shifted into full drag show mode, lifting a wig to release a rain of flowers Sasha Velour-style.
The very straight Colin Jost portrayed the gay Buttigieg, who was questioned on whether he was gay enough while holding his arms in front of him through his entire time on stage. Chris Redd’s parody of Sen. Cory Booker dodged questions about anti-gay writings from the 1990s while proclaiming he understood LGBT issues because girlfriend Rosario Dawson starred in Rent.
And Lin-Manuel Miranda swung by to portray former HUD Secretary Julian “LatinObama” Castro, who wore a rainbow pin to represent LGBTQ support. “As a Democrat, I want to apologize for not being gay,” he deadpanned. “But I promise to do better in the future.”
The sketch’s most intentionally cringe-worthy moments came as Woody Harrelson returned to reprise his Biden impression. Planting a kiss on moderator Anderson Cooper’s lips and telling stories of his father quoting Lady Gaga to him in 1926, the fictional Biden tossed out heaps of confusion, pandering and arrogance.