There’s been a lot of defecation slung around the past few weeks in Johnny Depp’s ongoing $50 million defamation trial against Amber Heard. Tonight, Saturday Night Live successfully threw some of its own against the wall to see what would stick in the cold open.
“I felt very very sad,” said a bearded and ponytailed Kyle Mooney as a grinning Depp on the stand when asked by a lawyering Aidy Bryant what was his reaction to discovering “fecal matter in your bed.” Hearing frequent objections from cast member Heidi Gardner as Heard’s main lawyer Elaine Bredehoft over the messy line of questioning, Judge Penny Azcarte, played on SNL by a bespectacled Cecily Strong, put the whole cold open and the whole real-life trial in perspective.
“I’ll allow it because it does sound fun, and this trial is for fun,” Strong’s Judge Azcarte exclaimed in what was one of best takes on the move star legal dust-up and one of the best SNL cold opens this almost over 47th season.
Set to resume on May 16 in Virginia after a one week pause, Depp and Heard’s mutual dirty laundry display has come back to the alleged 2016 incident where feces was found on the actor’s side of the duo’s bed in their DTLA pad. Supposedly one of the last straws for Depp, the defection was initially said by a Coachella-bound Heard to have been by the couple’s small dogs.
Testifying in the ongoing Old Dominion trial, Depp staffer Starling Jenkins II told the court on April 28 that Heard informed him on a ride out to the desert music festival that the “human fecal matter,” as Depp called it in his own testimony, was “a horrible practical joke gone wrong.”
“We don’t have to watch any of it, but we want to, so hush,” Strong’s judge added with perfect timing of fictional security tapes. “Mr Depp, are you finding this trial amusing,” she went on to say, in a nod to the actor’s behavior on and off the stand in real-life the past several weeks. “So am I, you’re bad Captain Jack,” she responded with shout out to the blockbuster Pirates franchise and a raised wine glass to a “yes” from Mooney’s Depp.
Viewing more of that mock surveillance camera footage of Depp security guards, portrayed by Kenan Thompson and Ego Nwodim, discovering the stained bed, Strong’s Azcarte went on to say: “I think I’ve seen enough. This trial has given me a lot to consider. On one hand, I believe Mr. Depp story. But on the other hand, your constant little smirk lets me know that this is not the first woman you made so mad that she pooped in your bed.”
Kicking off with SNL MVP Kate McKinnon as MSNBC host Nicole Wallace declaring “you are watching MSNBC news because you have nowhere else to place your anger,” the cold open for tonight’s Selena Gomez fronted episode looked to be mining to same old same old Beltway tropes it has for far too long. Then things shifted into the brilliantly termed “cuckoo trial” and the declaration of “glad it ain’t me!”
Now, to grab Heard’s alleged line, a ” horrible practical joke gone wrong” may be one way to describe the five-week long and extremely explicit trial in Virginia, regardless of whose camp you are in. However, walking away from the political material that has sadly usually limped along in the NBC late nighter’s cold open for most of this season, SNL’s jab tonight at the Depp vs. Heard fight was pretty much a winner all things considered.
Having started on April 11, the five-week long Virginia-based trial stems out of Depp’s hauling his ex-wife and Rum Diary co-star into court in March 2019 for a late 2018 Washington Post op-ed Heard penned about being a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” While the piece in the Jeff Bezos-owned broadsheet never mentioned Depp by name, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor insisted the op-ed was about him and “devastated” his career, costing him big bucks roles like another potential stint as Captain Jack Sparrow.
Though he said nothing to the sort during the couple’s very public and restraining order filled divorce in 2016, the self-admitted sometimes substance abusing Depp also started claiming in 2019 that far from being the perpetrator of domestic abuse in his relationship with Heard, he was the victim.
Heard failed on a number of occasions to get the case tossed out and has actually countersued Depp for $100 million. In late 2020, Depp spectacularly lost a UK libel trial against Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun tabloid for calling the actor a “wife beater.” His attempts at an appeal have gone nowhere fast, and it is clear that the drama in the courtroom in Fairfax County may be a last hurrah for Depp if he fails to meet the admittedly high standard of defamation in the USA.
Also, even with a legion of fervid fans online and in the court, it doesn’t help Depp’s legal case that he admitted on the stand that he wouldn’t be interested in returning to the Pirates franchise if Disney offered him “$300 million and a million alpacas, “as one of Heard’s attorneys said. It also does the fired Fantastic Beats actor no favors that it seems there never really was an interest in Disney in having Depp back for a as yet unmade Pirates 6 after all that went down on and off set on 2017’s Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Heard was in her second day of testimony when the trial temporarily halted on May 5. When the proceedings pick up on Monday the actress will be under more questioning from her own defense lawyers and then subjected to what is expected to be a harsh cross examination from Depp’s team.
Which could make for even more cold open material for SNL when Russian Doll’s Natasha Lyonne hosts the season finale on May 21.
Watch tonight’s cold open in full by clicking above.