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'SNL' returns with 'Deal or No Deal,' government shutdown style

Nancy Pelosi, played by Kate McKinnon, said she'd agree to end the government shutdown if Trump would say, "Nancy’s my mommy."
Kenan Thompson as Steve Harvey, Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, and Pete Davidson as a Clemson student on SNL's \"Deal or No Deal Cold Open\" sketch
Kenan Thompson as Steve Harvey, Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, and Pete Davidson as a Clemson student on SNL's "Deal or No Deal Cold Open" sketch on Jan. 19, 2019.Will Heath / NBC

"Saturday Night Live" returned from its winter break to skewer President Donald Trump's attempts to end the partial government shutdown that's been ongoing for nearly a month.

Trump, played by Alec Baldwin, as a contestant on the television game show "Deal or No Deal," was given an opportunity to negotiate an end to the shutdown, created by the president's demand for $5.7 billion for a border wall and Democratic congressional leaders' opposition to any money for the barrier.

"We decided to do this in the only format you can understand," said host Steve Harvey, played by Kenan Thompson, "a TV game show with women holding briefcases."

Trump offered a deal right off the bat. He said he'd extend limited legal protection for those brought to the United States illegally as children. And he said, "I’ll release the kids from cages so they can be … free range kids."

But the briefcases didn't hold good deals in Trump's view. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, performed by Kate McKinnon, said she'd make a deal to end the shutdown for "$1 billion dollars and you say, 'Nancy’s my mommy.'"

Suffice to say, no agreement was forthcoming. So Pelosi and Trump traded sanctions. Pelosi disinvited Trump from the State of the Union address, and Trump pulled the plug on Pelosi's planned trip to visit troops in Afghanistan.

"Oh no, I can’t go on my vacation to a war zone," she said. "What will I do?"

Harvey said the bickering was "like watching two grandparents fighting over the thermostat."

Trump decided to move on and asked to see what kind of deal lies in the briefcase of "that older Jewish woman."

"That's [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer," Harvey said.

Schumer offered the president $15 and a pastrami sandwich on rye. Trump held out until a Clemson football player offered him a box of "hamberders," which the president accepted. "I'm going to make that deal," he said.

"SNL" returned to the game show milieu with "Millennial Millions," in which millennials could win mortgage payments, debt relief, health care coverage and cash.

One young contestant, played by Pete Davidson, said, "I have a masters from NYU and I’m an intern at Burger King."

Another contestant, played by host and two-time Golden Globe Award winner Rachel Brosnahan, complained about a baby boomer who's rich but who's still taking Social Security payments. "So unfair," she said.

The host, played by Kenan Thompson, said, "Maybe you can tweet about it. That’ll solve everything."

The news segment, "Weekend Update," returned to the shutdown. Co-host Colin Jost said that Trump's attempts to haggle with congressional leaders made the dispute "sound like a hostage negotiation."

"I trust a promise from Donald Trump just about as much as I trust R. Kelly in a Claire’s boutique," Jost said.

Both Jost and "Update" co-host Michael Che had some fun at BuzzFeed's expense after its report that Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, was directed by the president to lie to Congress, was disputed by the special counsel investigating Russian influence on the 2016 election.

"You know how many suburban moms had to retract their group text to the family saying, 'We got him,'" Jost said. Che added, "... You do memes and lists. That's you, BuzzFeed."

Davidson, who parted ways with pop star Ariana Grande last fall, addressed a scare in December, in which he said on Instagram that he didn't "want to be on this earth anymore."

He explained that he had been spending time with comedian John Mulaney.

"After observing John’s life, I publicly threatened suicide," he said.

Saturday's show featured the "SNL" debut of rock act Greta Van Fleet.