'SNL' returns for 45th season, targets Trump impeachment

Sketch comedy showcase "Saturday Night Live" opened its 45th season with a play on President Donald Trump's White House woes as he confronts a formal impeachment inquiry over his attempts to get Ukraine's president to investigate political rival Joe Biden's son.

In the show's cold open Alec Baldwin returns to his recurring role as the president, this time embattled and seeking the counsel of his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, portrayed by Kate McKinnon.

"I’m being impeached," Trump says. "It’s the greatest presidential harassment of all time."

Giuliani responds, "Nobody is going to find out about our illegal side dealings with the Ukraine. Or how we tried to cover up those side dealings. Or how we tried to cover up the cover up."

"Where are you right now?" Trump asks.

Giuliani: "I’m on CNN."

Trump eventually seeks the advice of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, played by new featured player Bowen Yang.

"You have a big ocean in your country?" Kim says. "Send whistleblower to the bottom of there."

The president finally reaches out to the man he thinks is Ray Donovan, the Hollywood fixer from Showtime's eponymous program, but Trump ends up talking to the actor who plays Donovan, Liev Schreiber.

Related: Donald Trump on 'Saturday Night Live' through the years

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Donald Trump on 'Saturday Night Live' through the years
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Donald Trump on 'Saturday Night Live' through the years
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: Host Donald Trump during the monologue on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: (l-r) Darrell Hammond, Donald Trump during the monologue on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: (l-r) Donald Trump, Darrell Hammond as Regis Philbin, Amy Poehler as Kelly Ripa during the 'Live with Regis & Kelly' skit on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: Donald Trump during the 'Donald Trump's House of Wings' skit on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: (l-r) Amy Poehler, Kenan Thompson, Donald Trump, Seth Meyers, Maya Rudolph during the 'Donald Trump's House of Wings' skit on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: (l-r) George Ross, Donald Trump, Carolyn Kepcher during 'The Apprentice' skit on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: Host Donald Trump during the monologue on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: (l-r) Donald Trump as Jerry the Janitor, Darrell Hammond as Donald Trump during 'The Prince and the Pauper' skit on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: (l-r) Seth Meyers as Peter Fleck, Donald Trump as Gary Fleck during the 'Father and Sons' skit on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: (l-r) Amy Poehler as Carolyn Kepcher, Donald Trump during 'The Apprentice Band' skit on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/03/2004 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bootsy Collins, Donald Trump and Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals on April 3, 2004 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Donald Trump' Episode 1687 -- Pictured: (l-r) Cecily Strong, Donald Trump on November 3, 2015 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Donald Trump' Episode 1687 -- Pictured: (l-r) Sia, Donald Trump, and Kate McKinnon on November 5, 2015 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Donald Trump' Episode 1687 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bobby Moynihan as Ronald McDonald McTrump, Vanessa Bayer, Donald Trump, and Cecily Strong during the 'Porn Stars' sketch on November 7, 2015 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Donald Trump' Episode 1687 -- Pictured: (l-r) Donald Trump and Kenan Thompson as Toots Hibbert during the 'Toots Song Intro' sketch on November 7, 2015 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Donald Trump' Episode 1687 -- Pictured: (l-r) Sasheer Zamata as Omarosa, Bobby Moynihan, Donald Trump as the President of The United States, Cecily Strong as Melania Trump, Kenan Thompson, and Kyle Mooney during the 'White House' sketch on November 7, 2015 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Donald Trump' Episode 1687 -- Pictured: (l-r) Taran Killam, Donald Trump, and Darrell Hammond during the monologue on November 7, 2015 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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Schreiber, in a cameo, says he doesn't work as a fixer in real life. But when Trump asks him about Liam Neeson, the actor says, "Actually, Liam might do it."

"SNL" stayed on topic with a spoof of CNN's election town halls, this one titled, "Impeachment Town Hall," featuring so many Democratic presidential candidates that New Jersey U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, played by Chris Redd, is told he could leave early to beat traffic.

The host for the evening, Woody Harrelson, portrays former Vice President Joe Biden, and ex-cast member Maya Rudolph returned to Studio 8H to play U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris.

McKinnon's Sen. Elizabeth Warren expresses confidence in her role as one of the top candidates.

"I hope you guys enjoyed hot girl summer," she says, "because now it’s school librarian fall."

Larry David returned to play Sen. Bernie Sanders, who says, "I'm so excited to be back and to ruin things a second time."

Rudolph's Harris appears to be auditioning for a crime drama rather than the White House.

"I’m America’s cool aunt," she says. "Give you weed but then arrest you for having weed. I'm a walking, talking TNT show. 'Kamala,' Sundays on TNT.'

Biden tries to appeal to voters' need for stability.

"Look, I’m like plastic straws," he says. "I’ve been around forever. I’ve always worked. But now you’re mad at me. Drink up, America."

News segment "Weekend Update" hammered the impeachment theme, with co-host Colin Che fretting over the length of the process.

"I bet someone explained how long impeachment takes to John Wilkes Booth and he said, 'All right, well, where's he at right now?'" Che says.

A spoof of a current affairs talk show, "Inside the Beltway," looked at Trump's ability to emerge from past controversies that some pundits said would end his political career.

As the show flashes back to Trump's remarks about Mexican immigrants ("rapists") and late Sen. John McCain ("I like people who weren't captured") and to the investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 election, a commentator played by Kenan Thompson predicts the correct outcome every time.

"Ain't nothin' gonna' happen," he says. And that's his prescription for impeachment: "He's gonna win again."

Billie Eilish made her SNL debut as the musical guest.

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