Sen. Joe Manchin probably never thought his name
would be mentioned on "Saturday Night Live," let alone as a character in the
show's opening sketch.
But if it brings attention to the gun control bill he co-sponsored with Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., he's OK with the ribbing.
Manchin said he didn't see the show Saturday night but began receiving calls and texts during and after. He and Toomey, who made rounds on Sunday news shows, had a chance to watch it when they sat down with CNN's Candy Crowley.
"We all grew up with SNL," said the 65-year-old Manchin in a Sunday evening phone interview. "It is what it is and it was funny. Bottom line is it was funny."
--- See the video on Hulu.
The presidential seal filled the television screen late Saturday night, and then cut to cast member Jay Pharoah, dressed to look like President Barack Obama, standing at the podium saying the Senate had voted to begin debating the idea of talking about gun control.
The U.S. Senate voted 68-31 Thursday to move forward with the debate.
The show is known for taking on timely issues, especially those dealing with politics. The long running variety show's opening sketches have been both famously good and notoriously bad, but almost always end in someone yelling loudly into the camera "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!"
Saturday's lead-in featured two senators who had been making the news all week. Sens. Manchin, D-W.Va., and Toomey, portrayed by cast members Jason Sudeikis and Bill Heder, respectively, appeared at the podium at the faux president's behest and talked about their bill that would expand background checks for gun purchases.
"They both worked very hard together to bang out a bipartisan agreement," Pharoah said as the president. "These men risked everything for this bill.
"I mean, Senator Manchin represents West Virginia and he's proposing gun reform? He's gonna lose his job."
Sudeikis stood in a dark pinstriped suit with a red necktie; similar to what Manchin wore last week when he and Toomey unveiled the bill. The actor wore a salt and pepper wig neatly coiffed in a style similar to Manchin's and a pair of eyeglasses.
The men go on to talk about things the bill does and does not do, all of which are false and outlandish.
In the SNL world the bill would ensure that potential gun buyers would be asked if they were a "good person." A question that would be followed up with "Seriously, are you?"
The fake bill would prohibit AK-47 assault rifles from being sold in coin-operated vending machines and would limit the number of guns one could fire at once to two, but the penalty for those firing three or more guns at once is that the person would be given a fourth gun.
And none of what was proposed would apply to Florida, somehow.
"So look is this bill what we wanted? No, no. Is it what the NRA wanted? No. But does it at least help in some small way? Probably not, it doesn't," Sudeikis said as Manchin.
"We are confident this bill will pass the Senate and it will then go to the House of Representatives where it will immediately get shot down," said Heder as Toomey.
Sudeikis then mimicked shooting the bill down with a rifle and said he'd seen it
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