SNL faces Columbia University protests in cold open

US News

Saturday Night Live took on the anti-Israel protests sweeping the country in its cold open on Saturday, with one blue-collar parent warning that his daughter better not waste her tuition by participating.

Kenan Thompson, who played the Uber driver father, appeared as one of three college fathers discussing the weeks-long saga on a New York “Community Affairs” talk show hosted by cast member Michael Longfellow.

Everyone agreed in their support for the movement, but Thompson clarified that his support does not extend to the participation of his young daughter.

“Alexis Vanessa will have her ass in the classroom,” Thompson said, saying he won’t let his $68,000 annual tuition go to waste.

“Let me know she’s in one of the damn tents instead of the bedroom I’m paying for.”

Kenan Thompson, who played the Uber driver father, appeared as one of three college fathers discussing the weeks-long saga on a New York-based “Community Affairs” talk show during SNL on May 4. Saturday Night Live

When a puzzled Hunter College parent asked him why he supported the protests — which have resulted in hundreds of arrests in Colombia since the camp began two weeks ago — Thompson explained that he supported “my kids.”

“I’m here doing my best to pay all that tuition,” Thompson said, telling the school’s new mother, played by Heidi Gardner. “Sister, I do everything.”

“Uber all day. Uber eats all night. Cut the grass on the weekend. Sell ​​Gucci watches from my box. Life coaching on IG. All this so she can say she has a degree in African studies. It’s like, little girl, you’ve been black your whole life.

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Anti-Israel protesters surround students inside Hamilton Hall at Columbia University on April 30, 2024. Reuters
SNL cast members Michael Longfellow, Mickey Day, Heidi Gardner and Kenan Thompson participate in the “Community Affairs” cold open on May 4, 2024. Saturday Night Live

Longfellow even spoke of the raid on Columbia’s Hamilton Auditorium, which was taken over by brazen protesters for nearly 24 hours.

Parents admitted they would be nervous to see their children become one of many who were restricted, but seemed relieved by the fact that their children may not celebrate their graduation this year — a reference to a series of graduation ceremonies that were canceled in anticipation of protest unrest.

However, Thompson was adamant that he would get his money from Columbia and see his daughter cross the stage.

Students participate in an anti-Israel protest camp at Columbia University, April 29, 2024. Reuters

“Alexis Vanessa will graduate even if I do it myself,” Thompson said.

“You better believe I’ll be there screaming and screaming after they flat out ask us to wait until the end. That’s all I know.”

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