“Saturday Night Live” kicked off its show this week with its President Joe Biden reviewing Russia’s efforts to spread misinformation on social media in Ukraine.
The scene opened with Biden, played by James Austin Johnson, surrounded by advisers in the Oval Office, including a military adviser portrayed by Kenan Thompson.
Johnson’s Biden asks whether NATO forces are “ready to back us up” as Russia continues to prepare for a possible invasion of Ukraine.
Thompson’s military official informs Biden that every NATO country is sending supplies to Ukraine except Germany.
“Oh man, if Germany doesn’t want to go to war, you know it’s bad,” Johnson’s Biden says.
Two advisers played by Ego Nwodim and Alex Moffat then tell the president Russia’s military presence on the Ukrainian border “may be the least of our problems” because Russian disinformation on social media has left Ukrainians not knowing what to believe.
“Russia tried that during our last election, too. But it didn’t work,” Johnson’s Biden says.
“Well, 40% of Americans think you lost the election, so it kinda did,” Thompson’s adviser responds.
The group then reviews several disinformation posts purportedly circulating on Ukrainian Facebook meant to boost support for a Russian invasion.
One headline reads, “Ukrainian border encroaching on Russian Troops,” while another says, “Russian forces surrounding Ukraine just to give it big hug.”
“I’m gonna break my New Year’s resolution and say it: malarkey!” Johnson’s Biden exclaims.
The adviser played by Nwodim then says the Russian disinformation campaign is bringing the US into it and points to a supposed post reading, “American CDC strongly recommends Russia invade Ukraine.”
“Did the CDC really say that,” Thompson’s military adviser asks.
“For a few months in 2020. The science was changing so fast,” Biden responds.
Another disinformation post reads, “Neil Young to remove music from Spotify unless Ukraine surrenders,” a reference to the artist removing his music from the streaming service due to vaccine misinformation propagated by comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan.
The group then reviews several memes and a TikTok video showing a Russian military member dancing with a Ukrainian solider.
Johnson’s Biden criticizes the choreography in the video and says, “I’m going to log into my Finsta and flame those guys in the comments.”
The group then decides to “fight fire with fire” and bring in a teen girl, played by Chloe Fineman, to organize a social media campaign. “I’m a junior at a vicious girls’ high school and you all work for me now,” she tells the room.
“Let’s just do something fun and simple that everyone can get behind, like a drone strike,” Johnson’s Biden suggests.
The teen adviser then says her generation doesn’t believe in drone strikes but prefers “breaking down our enemies psychologically.”
“That’s why I’m going to DM Putin and say, ‘Oh my God, I loved you’re outfit the other day. Was that Old Navy?’” Fineman’s adviser says. “Already he’s spiraling … In three weeks he will have completely lost his mind,” she adds.
The group then comes together for the signature, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”