March 13 (UPI) — This weekend’s edition of Saturday Night Live opened with a sketch featuring U.S. President Joe Biden meeting with TikTok influencers to brainstorm ways to help Ukraine fight back against Russia.
“This week, as the war in Ukraine intensified, access to Facebook and Instagram was shut off leaving only one source of information: TikTok,” said an introduction to the segment.
“So on Thursday, the White House responded by holding a national security briefing with some of the nation’s top TikTok creators. We take you now inside that historic meeting.”
Biden (James Austin Johnson) first thanked the social media stars — who have huge followings and make tons of money — and White House press secretary Jen Psaki for helping out.
“I suggested it as a joke and then it actually happened,” Kate McKinnon as Psaki deadpanned.
“People are saying this is the first war fought on TikTok, which is tough for me because I am the landline of presidents,” Biden said.
The stars then went on to offer their ideas about how to take on Russian President Vladimir Putin, including releasing singing and dancing videos, reading poetry and playing pranks on him.
Just as it became clear the influencers weren’t going to be much help, a shirtless man (Bowen Yang) with a toilet plunger stuck to his chest arrived.
“The idea of asking TikTok stars to fight Russia might sound like a joke, but remember: they said the same thing about the radio in World War II. Never underestimate the importance of new technology and how it reaches young people in ways you can never understand,” he said. “TikTok isn’t some childish gimmick. It has more power and more influence than the nightly news.”
“That was truly inspiring, young man,” Biden told the star.
“Oh, I’m 55,” Yang joked. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to move this plunger to my crotch, attach a knife at the end and try to slice an apple in half. God bless America.”
Last week, Psaki and National Security Council staffers really did meet with 30 top TikTok stars via Zoom to answer questions they have about the war in Ukraine, so they could communicate effectively with their followers and help spread accurate information, according to the U.S. government.