‘S.N.L.’ Spoofs Merrick Garland’s Hunt for Classified Documents

Michael B. Jordan hosted an episode that was saved by a couple of commercial parodies.

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By Dave Itzkoff

Classified documents are all the rage these days: They’re turning up in the homes of President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence, and on “Saturday Night Live,” which used these recent discoveries as grist for its opening sketch.

This weekend’s “S.N.L.” broadcast, hosted by Michael B. Jordan and featuring the musical guest Lil Baby, began with a dramatic voice-over intoning, “Criminals beware. There’s a new sheriff in town, and he means business.” This person had already put away the Jan. 6 insurrectionists and, the voice-over added, “Now he’s searching for classified documents and he’s coming for whoever has them — Democrat, Republican or whatever Trump is now.”

That person turned out to be Attorney General Merrick Garland, played by Mikey Day in an especially nebbishy manner. “I may look like I was born in a library,” Day said as Garland, “but there’s something you should know: Merrick Garland don’t play.” Though his voice was hardly intimidating, his bold assertions were often punctuated with head shakes and whip-crack sound effects.

Day noted that “some have said the federal government classifies too many documents.” He added, “This has led people to ask, ‘Does recovering these documents even matter?’ To which I say: I don’t know. But it’s the law. And I am the law.” A pair of pixelated sunglasses then descended upon his face, accompanied by a caption that read “Deal With It.”

He introduced three special agents that he had dispatched to the residences of elected officials, starting with Kenan Thompson playing an agent who said he had conducted a search of Pence’s home.

“I knew right away this man needed a friend,” Thompson recounted. “When he opened the door, he said, ‘You came!’ with a big smile, and he offered to make us pancakes.”

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