“Saturday Night Live” roasted an AARP-age Congress as it ponders regulating Facebook following allegations it fosters and encourages division and harms teenagers’ self-esteem.
The show opened with a spoof of C-SPAN coverage of former Facebook employee Frances Haugen’s testimony before the Senate earlier this week. Played by Heidi Gardner, Haugen thanked senators for inviting her to Capitol Hill, saying, “It’s nice to be in an office with no skateboards.”
Sen. John Kennedy (Kyle Mooney), got right to business, saying, “This so called algorithm — I just want to clear up a few points: Where is it? Do you have it with you now?”
Told that computer algorithms are everywhere, including in cellphones, Kennedy begged to differ, holding up his flip phone and proclaiming it only lets him call his son or the hospital.
Sen. Ted Cruz, played by Aidy Bryant, expressed concern about bullying online.
He said he’s seen Facebook groups with names such as “Ted Cruz sucks, or Ted Cruz is the real Zodiac Killer.” He argued they should be flagged as misinformation. But he’s immediately informed that “Ted Cruz sucks” is hardly misinformation.
Sen. Cory Booker (Chris Redd) used the moment to declare, “Rosario Dawson. She and I are, uh, dating.”
“My question is,” he said, “does that make sense?”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (James Austin Johnson), asked, “When you open an incognito window on Google does that prevent God from seeing what you’re doing?”
The cold open wrapped up with the introduction of “O.G. social media king” — MySpace co-founder Tom Anderson, played by Pete Davidson.
“Remember me,” he said. “I was harmless.”
Host Kim Kardashian West used her monologue to poke fun at some of her family members and even to rib “SNL” by stating her social media following is many times larger than the show’s viewership.
“Tonight is just a chill, intimate night for me,” she said.
Kardashian West said she’s proud that she’s earned a fortune and nobody can call her a gold digger. She said she wasn’t really sure what a gold digger is, so she asked her mother’s boyfriend, Corey Gamble.
Kardashian West credited her family’s relationship with O.J. Simpson (her late father, Robert, was his laywer) with introducing her to Black Americans. “O.J. does leave a mark,” she said.
She praised her mother, Kris Jenner, for giving her children “K” names but avoiding Karen, which is sometimes used to describe white women who assert privilege over people of color.
“Somehow, she just knew,” Kardashian West said. “I don’t know how she saw that one coming and not Caitlyn.”
Finally, she took a swipe at onetime presidential candidate Kanye West, whom she’s divorcing, while unleashing a second jab at Caitlyn Jenner, who ran unsuccessfully for governor during California’s gubernatorial recall election in September.
“I’m not running for president,” she said. “We can’t have three failed politicians in one family.”
News segment “Weekend Update” grilled Facebook some more, saying the argument that the social media behemoth has been a bad influence on America is one of the few things Democrats and Republicans seem to agree on lately.
As a photo of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg appeared, co-host Colin Jost said, “This week we found out that sometimes a guy in a hoodie actually can be dangerous.”
Jost said he went to college with Zuckerberg, who created the precursor to Facebook while he attended Harvard University, and he expressed some shame about it.
“I feel terrible,” Jost said. “Sometimes I wish I had a time machine.”
He said he would go back to his college days and confront Zuckerberg: “Hey man, can I be part of your company?”
Fellow host Michael Che noted it was a bad week for Facebook, which was hit with a major outage that also affected Instagram and WhatsApp.
“This week Instagram was down for an entire day, forcing many Instagram addicts to fill their time with Twitter, TikTok, or hosting ‘SNL.'”