Saturday Night Live mocked Joe Biden’s apparent penchant for invading women’s personal space with a skit featuring a sensitivity coach who tries to help the former vice president unlearn his “touchy-feely” ways.
Former cast member Jason Sudeikis returned to Studio 8H to reprise his role as Biden. The former vice president was in hot water this week after numerous women publicly accused him of touching them inappropriately.
Saturday’s cold open sketch kicked off with top Biden advisers plotting how to best confront the former vice president about his interactions with women. If Biden decides to announce a 2020 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, they point out, he’s going to have to change his behavior.
“Joe’s a good guy, and he means well. He’s just a little behind the times,” SNL regular Cecily Strong says, playing a Biden aide, just moments before the Delaware Democrat bursts into the room.
Sudeikis’ Biden is a bumbling career politician who remains clueless as to why anyone would take offense to his handsy approach. He immediately makes it clear has no problem conceding he has a habit of cozying up with strangers.
“I’m a hugger, I’m a kisser, and I’m a little bit of a sniffer,” Sudeikis says, referencing allegations from Nevada Democrat Lucy Flores, who claimed Biden came up behind her at a 2014 event, put his hands on her shoulders, and leaned in before kissing her on the back of the head.
While Sudeikis’ Biden initially defends his behavior, he says he is game for a lesson on how to change his behavior from a sensitivity consultant, played by Kate McKinnon. The coaching session goes off the rails immediately when Biden greets McKinnon by pressing his forehead up against hers for a prolonged embrace. From there, he exasperates her with has a long checklist of habits she tells him are now considered off limits.
“No tickling at all,” McKinnon instructs him.
“No tickling — even on her birthday,” Biden repeats back.
SNL continued to ridicule Biden later in the show when Weekend Update hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che took note of how the allegations against the former veep are hardly a surprise.
“He looks like one of those uncles who calls spring ‘sundress time!’” Che jokes.
Jost went on to roast Biden’s attempt at an apology earlier in the week. Biden responded to the allegations of impropriety by posting a video on Twitter in which he mimes the different ways in which he enjoys greeting people.
Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying. Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it. pic.twitter.com/Ya2mf5ODts
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 3, 2019
”It was supposed to be an apology, not a reenactment,” Jost says. “He might as well end the video by unbuttoning his shirt and saying, ‘To find out what happens next, log on to godaddy.com.’”