Herschel Walker Gets the SNL Treatment

You know it’s bad when satire is eerily close to the real thing.

Paul Hennessy/ZUMA

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SNL kicked off its cold open this weekend with a panicked GOP sitting down for an emergency meeting with Herschel Walker, the scandal-plagued Senate candidate in Georgia, as voters head to the polls to determine the last seat in the Senate on Tuesday.

The sketch, which included a furrow-browed Mitch McConnell, Marsha Blackburn, and John Cornyn, saw a clueless Walker confusing simple words—election for an erection, voting by mail for voting by male, and so forth. Meanwhile, Republican leaders went back and forth over what to do with their man before finally deciding it was simply best to keep Walker quiet in the final stretch.

Those concerns, of course, are very real; Walker did actually confuse “election” for erection during a Fox News interview. Many, including Georgia’s Republican lieutenant governor, have blasted Walker as one of the worst candidates in the GOP’s history.

The solution on SNL to silence Walker also appears to borrow from reality. In the final days before Tuesday’s election, the former NFL star has been conspicuously quiet in interviews, mostly relying on others to do the talking for him. But it’s hard to see voters falling for that last-ditch strategy after months of absurd, incoherent statements that have come out of Walker’s mouth. (Read my colleague David Corn’s excellent dispatch on why Walker should release his medical records.) Looking at it one way, Kenan Thompson’s portrayal of Walker felt slightly more like a real Senate candidate. At least you were watching a man who knew he was in on the joke.

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