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Keeping up its streak of politically charged cold opens, last night's Saturday Night Live decided to go Baldwin-less and tackle things from a different angle. Without their cold open heavy hitter, the sketch show brought back a different sort of TV icon: Walter White. Bryan Cranston returned to reprise his classic Breaking Bad role as President-elect Donald Trump's top pick for head of the DEA. Check out the video below to see Walter White explain how he's going to fill America with red, white and lots of blue.
As it turns out Walter White's fate at the climactic end of Breaking Bad was not so permanent after all. The genius meth maker apparently found a way to fake his own death, and has been hiding in the comments section of Breitbart ever since. It was there he was discovered by White House chief advisor Steve Bannon, who offered him a job heading up the DEA; White is apparently only the third person in Trump's cabinet to fake his death anyway. With the joke being that the Trump administration cabinet picks don't seem to fit their job description, White will head up the DEA because he knows it "better than anyone, inside and out."
As Walter White tells Beck Bennett's Jake Tapper, he's never met Trump, but he's a big fan of his act first ask question later style. He further revealed that
I also like that wall he wants to build. Nothing comes in from Mexico, meaning a lot less competition for the rest of us.
As far as cold opens go this one was perhaps not the most successful. Sure it's nice to see Walter White, and Bryan Cranston in general, but not when it's plagued with half-clever references to Breaking Bad and jokes that never quite land. It also didn't help that White's involvement in the sketch isn't really timely, and feels like it came a couple years too late.
One of the problems with SNL is that they sometimes take shortcuts to make jokes that sound funny, even if they aren't necessarily true. Take Walter White using Breitbart for example. I get that this isn't canon and shouldn't be treated so religiously, but it's a bit strange because A) Walter wouldn't use Breitbart, and B) I don't think he would like Steve Bannon (or maybe he would; I don't know, I've never met Walter White). Cranston may need to promote Why Him?, but it feels like SNL could have just made up a drug dealer character to a better effect.
SNL has got one more episode left before it takes its winter break. Casey Affleck of Manchester by the Sea will host with musical guest Chance the Rapper. The episode airs next week on December 17 on NBC.