On Saturday Night Live, many members of President Donald Trump's administration have been portrayed on the series. Steve Bannon, however, has been portrayed on the show as the Grim Reaper in a recurring joke — until Saturday, Jan. 13's episode. Finally, the Reaper shed his cloak to reveal Billy Murray's SNL cameo as Steve Bannon in the episode's cold open and Twitter loved the comedian's return to the NBC series. Murray was an SNL cast member from 1977 until 1980 and has returned to host the show a few times. The last time he appeared on SNL was in 2014, during the TV series' 40th anniversary special.
Murray was revealed to Bannon in a parody of MSNBC's Morning Joe. In the sketch, hosts Joe Scarborough (played by cast member Alex Moffat) and Mika Brzezinski (played by cast member Kate McKinnon) have their usual flirtatious banter and talked to Murray's Bannon, who speaks in weird puns using his last name ("The Bannon Canon"). Murray was almost uncanny as the former Trump chief strategist and former chairman of Breitbart News and fit the role perfectly, dressed in a Bannon-esque jacket and sporting the same hair as the real life man. Murray's Bannon tells the hosts in the sketch that "the Bannon Dynasty is just dawning" and that he's "working on a web series for Crackle, called Cucks in Cars Getting Coffee" (a reference to Jerry Seinfeld's web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Then, Murray's Bannon makes the weirdest, most hilarious pun with his surname, saying, "It's time for America to slide down the Bannon-ster." Make of that one what you will.
Murray wasn't the only cameo in the cold open — former SNL cast member Fred Armisen also appeared in the cold open as Michael Wolff, the author of the much-talked about Trump tell-all book Fire and Fury. Scarborough and Brzezinski speak to Armisen's Wolff, who claims that Trump runs "baby races," meaning racing actual babies. When asked about the errors in the book, Armisen's Wolff says, "You liked it, you had fun? So what's the problem. You got the gist, so shut up. Even the stuff that's not true is true."
Armisen was an SNL cast member from 2002 until 2013 and currently stars on Portlandia, but fans were also please to see the comedian back on the show as well. According to Twitter, a cold open with Murray as Bannon and Armisen as Wolff was comedy gold.
So many fans loved the surprise that Murray was Bannon underneath the cloak.
Other views felt like Murray was the absolutely perfect choice to play Bannon.
Some fans were big fans of Murray's Bannon puns.
Many fans were simply super excited to see Bill Murray on SNL again.
Some fans just wanted to show their love for Murray for who he is.
No matter what, it was clear that Murray's cameo as Steve Bannon was a welcome addition to SNL, which usually features actor Alec Baldwin as Trump, cast member Beck Bennett as Vice President Mike Pence, and McKinnon as Hillary Clinton, Jeff Sessions, and Kellyane Conway. It's too bad Baldwin's Trump didn't make an appearance on Saturday night's episode — can you imagine a sketch in which he comes face-to-face with Murray's Bannon? It has the potential to be comedy gold.
Watch the sketch in the video below to see Murray as Bannon, Armisen as Wolff, and cast member Leslie Jones as Oprah.
It remains to be seen if Murray's Bannon will become a recurring character on the show, but for now, we can appreciate the brilliant casting and Murray's hilarious interpretation of the former member of the Trump administration.