Putin Assures America Everything Will Be Fine in 'SNL' Cold Open

This year, we're keeping track of Saturday Night Live's funniest moments as they happen. Read "The Best SNL Sketches of 2017 (So Far)" for the latest laughs.

Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live's expert Donald Trump impersonator, was noticeably absent from the show's first post-inauguration outing. But Studio 8H was still prepared to thoroughly troll you-know-who. In an unsettling cold open, Beck Bennett's topless Vladimir "Pooty" Putin commented on the inspiring Women's March protests on Washington and elsewhere, and promised that Russia would take care of America because "it's the most expensive thing we've ever bought."

Other political segments included Cecily Strong and Sasheer Zamata's musical tribute to President Obama and a near shot-for-shot play on Chicago's "Roxie," with Kate McKinnon prancing around as ambitious, truth-massaging White House consigliere Kellyanne Conway.

The most potent part of the night, however, came from episode host Aziz Ansari, who delivered a nearly 10-minute monologue mixed with jokes and brutal honesty. In particular, the comedian had strong words for the racists who've come out of the woodwork since the election:

"I can't believe this: I'm here hosting Saturday Night Live... yeah, the day after Trump's inauguration. Pretty cool to know, though, he's probably at home watching a brown guy make fun of him, right?" Ansari said. "We're all Americans. We'll be fine, but the problem is there's a new group. I'm talking about this tiny slice of people that've gotten way too fired up about the Trump thing for the wrong reasons. I'm talking about these people that, as soon as Trump won, they were like, We don't have to pretend that we're not racists anymore. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, no, no -- if you're one of these people, please go back to pretending. You gotta go back to pretending -- I'm so sorry we never thanked you for your service."

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Sean Fitz-Gerald is a staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. Find him on Twitter: @srkfitzgerald.