May 10, 2015 12:54 PM EDT Saturday Night Live skewered the Republican presidential candidates during the May 9 episode’s cold open, featuring a DJ (Cecily Strong) giving snarky intros as the 2016 hopefuls entered the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.
The skit included a electric bass-wielding former Governor Mike Huckabee (Beck Bennett), who “turned Arkansas from a red state into a shred state”; Dr. Ben Carson (Kenan Thompson), who’s about to “put his neurosurgery training to use, because the
things he says will blow your mind”; and Carly Fiorina (Kate McKinnon), the former Hewlett-Packard CEO who “Sneeds foreign policy experience.”
Others lampooned were Texas Senator Ted Cruz (Bobby Moynihan), Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (Kyle Mooney) and, to close it out, a shirtless Florida Senator Marco Rubio (Taran Killam), who “believes marriage should be between one man and one sexy
The episode, hosted by
Hot Pursuit star Reese Witherspoon, also tackled the shooting at the controversial contest last week in Texas that featured depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. But in SNL‘s Pictionary-themed sketch, which drew mixed responses on social media, ultimately none of the contestants dared to draw anything. See the 2016 Candidates' Campaign Launches Sen. Ted Cruz kicked off his campaign for 2016 Republican presidential nomination at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. on March 23. Tom Williams—CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul launched his bid for the Republican nomination at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville on April 7. Supporters held signs with the slogan "Defeat the Washington Machine / Unleash the American Dream." Amy Harris—Corbis Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced her campaign in a YouTube video posted April 12 that has been seen nearly 4.5 million times. One boy featured in the video boasted about playing a fish in a school play. Hillary For America Florida Sen. Marco Rubio announced his campaign for the Republican nomination during a rally at the Freedom Tower in Miami on April 13. He took a drink of water during the speech, a callback to his State of the Union response in 2013. Wilfredo Lee—AP Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced his bid for the Democratic nomination across the street from the U.S. Capitol on April 30, 2015. The backdrop was unusual, since most candidates rail against Washington. Jonathan Ernst—Reuters Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson announced his bid for the Republican nomination at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts May 4, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. The launch featured a gospel choir covering Eminem's "Lose Yourself." Bill Pugliano—Getty Images Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina announced her campaign for the Republican nomination in a conference call on May 4, then went on "Good Morning America" to talk to George Stephanopoulos. Lou Rocco—Getty Images Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced his campaign at a community college in his hometown of Hope, Ark., on May 5. Singer Tony Orlando (right) performed. Left: Danny Johnston; Right: Matt Sullivan—Getty Images Republican presidential candidate and former New York Governor George Pataki (C) greets supporters after formally announcing his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in Exeter, N.H. on May 28, 2015. Dominick Reuter—Reuters Former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee announces his candidacy for the democratic presidential nomination at George Mason University in Arlington, Va. on June 3, 2015. Win McNamee—Getty Images Republican Senator Lindsey Graham announces his 2016 presidential candidacy in Central, S.C. on June 1, 2015. Erik S. Lesser—EPA Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is joined by his wife Katie O'Malley (R) as he announces his intention to seek the Democratic presidential nomination during a speech at Federal Hill Park in Baltimore on May 30, 2015. Jim Bourg—Reuters Former Texas governor Rick Perry announces his candidacy for Republican presidential nominee at an event held at Addison Airport in Addison, Texas on Thursday, June 4, 2015. Louis DeLuca—Dallas Morning News/Corbis Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush waves on stage as he announces his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination during an event at Miami-Dade College - Kendall Campus in Miami on June 15 , 2015. Joe Raedle—Getty Images Donald Trump holds up his financial statement showing his net worth as he formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during an event at Trump Tower in New York City on June 16, 2015. Brendan McDermid—Reuters Republican presidential candidate and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in Kenner, La. on June 24, 2015. Jonathan Bachman—Reuters Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during a kickoff rally at Livingston High School in Livingston, N.J. on June 30, 2015. Brendan McDermid—Reuters Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker greets supporters after announcing that he will seek the Republican nomination for president in Waukesha, Wis. on July 13, 2015 . Scott Olson—Getty Images Ohio Governor John Kasich arrives on stage to formally announce his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during a kickoff rally in Columbus, Ohio on July 21, 2015. Aaron P. Bernstein—Reuters More Must-Reads From TIME Inside the White House Program to Share America's Secrets Meet the 2024 Women of the Year East Palestine, One Year After Train Derailment The Closers: 18 People Working to End the Racial Wealth Gap Long COVID Doesn’t Always Look Like You Think It Does Column: The New Antisemitism The 13 Best New Books to Read in March Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time