Saturday night, former Saturday Night Live cast member Will Ferrell, who for many years played former President George W. Bush on SNL, returned to do the cold open, and it was both funny and terrifying.
Video Description: Over an image of the seal of the office of the President, a male voiceover says: And now an announcement from the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush."It's a pretty good plot twist that I turned out to be the smart one" made me laugh real hard, y'all.
Will Ferrell, costumed and in character as former President George W. Bush, appears onscreen, standing at a podium flanked by US flags. He says, with audience cheers and laughter peppered throughout:
This is an important day. I've made a big decision: I'm entering the race for President of the United States of America. The field of Republicans out there is so messed up, I figured it makes ya miss me, doesn't it? Yeah. And that's saying a lot!
I've already got my campaign song. [sings] Ready or not, here I come, you can't hide, I'm gonna fiiiiiiiind you and make you love me! [ends singing] That's a little something from the Fugees. [mispronounces it with a hard "g"]
I'm telling ya: I can beat these guys. Here, let's take a look at some of the front runners.
[image of Ben Carson] Dr. Ben Carson. I can barely hear him when he talks. I'll tell ya something: That's not gonna work when you have to go to China or Azerbaijan [mispronounces it] where you have to [speaks slow and loud, like an asshole does to someone who does not speak English] talk loudly so they will understand! Not to mention, he's some kinda brain surgeon. And I got news for him: Running the country is not brain surgery. Trust me—trust me, I know. Next!
[image of Carly Fiorina] Carly Fiorina. I like Carly. She's got guts. She got fired from her job; she got her butt kicked in a Senate race; she's not qualified in any way to be president. In many ways, she reminds me of me. But she isn't me! I am me! Next!
[images of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio] Cruz and Rubio. Rubio and Cruz. Sounds like a Miami law firm. If you've been injured on the job, call Rubio and Cruz. These two guys, the sons of immigrants, hate immigrants. I for one like the Mexican people. They are my amigos. Tex-Mex is my favorite kinda food. I enjoy the slow-roasted carnitas at Chevy's. Laura always orders the baja sampler with the blue crab enchiladas. The way I see it, unless your name is Running Bear or Chief Two Rivers, we're all anchor babies. That's something to think about.
And then you got this knucklehead. [image of Donald Trump; cut back to Bush laughing uproariously] With the hair! [laughs] And the hundred-foot wall! [laughs] Bring that picture back. [image of Trump; cut back to Bush laughing even harder] I tell ya something: Whenever I get in a bad mood, I just—I just picture his big, fat, orange, Oompa Loompa face, and I just piss my pants!
And now he says he wants to keep all the Muslims out. Yeah. Great idea. That's impossible to implement and not what this country's about. Heck, that's like—that's like saying let's keep all the Leprechauns out. We tried tiny Leprechaun internment camps in the late 1920's, and, as you all know, it totally backfired. Leprechaun relations have never recovered since. That's why they are so hard to find. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a Leprechaun? I say no thanks to Donald Trump. Next!
[image of Jeb Bush, with "Jeb! 2016" logo] Jeb. Oh boy. Poor Jeb. You gotta admit, it's a pretty good plot twist that I turned out to be the smart one.
Of course, I wish he woulda asked me about the exclamation point, on the end of his name. Look, I don't like the taste of broccoli, but it doesn't get any tastier if you call it BROCCOLI!
He doesn't stand a chance in this field. He's an insider who knows how to govern. The Republican voters don't want that. They want someone who is coocoo for cocoa puffs. But running a government is kinda like driving a school bus: You don't want a crazy person driving that bus; you want a simple, underachieving, not very educated but reliable guy behind that wheel. Someone with a steady hand who will be on time and get into one or two but no more than four accidents a year.
You already know that someone—and that someone is me. I'll see you in the White House. And live from New York, it's Saturday night!
The power of this sketch is in underlining just how far right the Republican Party has moved, from the already far right Bush administration, in less than eight years. Bush's stance on undocumented immigrants had Fox News wringing its hands in 2004: "Bush Amnesty Plan Raises Immigration Concerns." Because it was too liberal. And Trump's "no Muslims" proposal makes Bush's appallingly toxic "with us or against us" rhetoric look positively quaint by comparison.
Bush was a heinous, reactionary, extreme conservative—and he looks like a moderate compared to the current lot of vile nincompoops running for his old job.
That doesn't make me miss George W. Bush—I can't imagine anything that would—but it sure makes me scared for the future of this country.