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Bowen Yang's George Santos Belts a "Candle in the Wind" Farewell in SNL Cold Open
"If I'm guilty of anything, it's loving too much-slash-fraud," Yang's Santos told reporters in the cold open for Emma Stone's December 2 episode.
Republican congressman George Santos was formally expelled in a 311-114 majority vote on December 1, 2023; the ousting was only the third expulsion from the House of Representatives since the Civil War. Since Season 48, Saturday Night Live has taken Santos's already-insane real life to the next level with cast member Bowen Yang's impression of the disgraced politician. And in the cold open for Emma Stone's December 2 episode, Yang's Santos said goodbye with a reworked rendition of Elton John's "Candle in the Wind."
The sketch opened with CNN's Wolf Blitzer (Sarah Sherman) throwing to a press conference held by Santos. "Enough, enough, enough! Everyone, stop assaulting me. I'm being assaulted," Yang's Santos told reporters, his coat draped over his shoulders like a cape. "This entire country has been bullying me just because I'm a proud, gay thief. What else is new? America hates to see a Latina queen winning."
The list of federal charges Santos faces are in the dozens, ranging from identity theft to fraud and misused campaign funds, to say nothing of his eccentric public appearances. Yet, Yang's Santos remains as seemingly unapologetic as the actual Santos amid the allegations.
"Since the day I was elected, it's been a witch hunt," he continued. "But if I'm guilty of anything, it's for loving too much-slash-fraud!"
Bowen Yang Sings "Candle in the Wind" (George Santos's Version)
Addressing the "bloodthirsty jackals" at the press conference—who remind Santos that he himself called the press conference—he explains that "America needs closure."
"Okay, fine," Yang's Santos conceded. "You want me to say that I'm lost, that i'm humiliated? Fine. So i'm no longer 'Congressman Santos.' I'm regular old Professor Major General Astronaut Santos, Protector of the Realm, Princess of Genovia."
"Is being expelled and prosecuted for 23 felonies a setback?" he continued. "Sure. But I promised myself I wouldn't let it ruin my Kwanzaa!"
Furnishing a mysterious baby (just like the real George Santos!) and lamenting his too-short tenure, Yang's Santos belted a ballad in "tribute to myself."
Flipping his coat to a cape, Yang's Santos sat down behind a piano to put a new spin on Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," originally written in 1973 as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe, and re-released in 1997 as a tribute to the late Princess Diana.
"Goodbye, Congress queen / Though they never knew me at all, 'cause I lied about everything in my life / then i took a tragic fall," Santos sang. "They crawled out of the woodwork, they whispered, 'he used my donations for Botox, and I said 'it was fillers, sl--!'"
"And it seems to me, I lived my life like a scandal in the wind / never knowing who to cling to when the law closed in," Yang belted in the chorus. "And I would have liked to have known you, but I'm a different guy: My name is Carlos Duncan Hines / Don't look me up, I died."
Watch Bowen Yang's George Santos sing "Scandal in the Wind" above. Is this really goodbye, or will he resurface just as we suspect his real-life counterpart plans to? We can only hope.
Watch more of Bowen Yang as George Santos on SNL
George Santos may be gone-but-not-forgotten from Congress, but Bowen Yang's George Santos impression will live on forever. Watch a few of his "Weekend Update" visits and sketch appearances below.