‘SNL’ cold open shows Ted Cruz revamping ‘Sesame Street’ to shield kids from ‘woke’ culture

The “Saturday Night Live” cold open this weekend tackled Sen. Ted Cruz’s criticism of Big Bird for encouraging kids to get the coronavirus vaccine on Twitter after the “Sesame Street” characters participated in an informational town hall. 

“Ted Cruz Street,” as it was dubbed by “SNL,” featured cast member Aidy Bryant as the Texas Republican, joined by a guest list that included U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Cecily Strong) with an AR-15 rifle, welfare cheat “Oscar the Slouch” (Chris Redd) and a very sick post-vaccine Big Bird (Kyle Mooney), whom the Cruz character advised to bathe in Borax. (Some social media users have suggested bathing in Borax after getting the COVID shot as a detox but the Food and Drug Administration has advised it is a potentially harmful skin and eye irritant.)

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Bryant’s Cruz said he had stood idly by for years while “Sesame Street” taught kids “dangerous ideas like numbers and kindness. But when Big Bird told kids to get vaccinated against a deadly disease I said, ‘Enough!’” 

He described “Cruz Street” as a gated community where kids would be safe from the “woke” government. And to the tune of the “Sesame Street” theme song, Cruz and a group of kids sang that they would “sweep the libs away” and “grab an eagle and a gun” and “bring the gun to Cruz Street.”

Cruz explained he was mocked for calling Big Bird’s tweet “propaganda” last week “simply because I am a human senator and he is an eight-foot-tall fictional bird.” 

Strong’s Greene came on and explained that today’s episode of “Ted Cruz Street” was “brought to you by ‘Q’ – the man, not the letter.” Every episode of the actual “Sesame Street” is “sponsored” by a letter of the alphabet that features thematically in the show.

Bryant’s Cruz later mentioned what he said were three more important letters – C, R and T. He explained that while they stood for “critical race theory,” he believed they more accurately meant “Caucasian rights trampled.” 

Joe Rogan (Pete Davidson) also made an appearance, proclaiming he “used to host ‘Fear Factor’ and now doctors fear me.” 

Later, Cruz raised the topic of the Democrats’ social safety-net bill.

“Did somebody say free money?” Oscar the Slouch said, rising from inside his trash-can home.

Oscar told Cruz that “Papa Joe Biden gave me so many stimulus I decided to quit working and live in this trash can. Now you all work hard and Biden gives me your money.” He added that he proudly uses “your tax money on drugs and pornography.” 

At the end of the sketch, Cruz said the word of the day was “freedom” and Britney Spears (Chloe Fineman) came on to celebrate her emancipation from her conservancy – and to tell the audience “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” 

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Actor Jonathan Majors was the show’s guest host with Taylor Swift as the musical guest. Swift notably performed “All Too Well,” a 10-minute-long song from her new album “Red” that is widely speculated to be about her ex Jake Gyllenhaal. Swift is known for writing unflattering songs about her ex-boyfriends. 

“Well guys, I think the lesson we all learned this week is never break up with Taylor Swift,” SNL Weekend Update co-anchor Colin Jost joked, opening his segment after Swift’s performance, “or she will sing about you for 10 minutes on national television.”

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