Chris Rock Mocks Donald Trump's Coronavirus Diagnosis In SNL Monologue: 'My Heart Goes Out To COVID'

Chris Rock began his monologue as host of Saturday Night Live's Season 46 premiere with a joke mocking President Donald Trump's coronavirus diagnosis.

Appearing on stage in a mask shortly after the episode's cold open, Rock then removed it and addressed the biggest news of the week.

"Before we even get started, let's... you know, the elephant in the room. President Trump is in the hospital from COVID and you know, I just want to say my heart goes out to COVID," Rock joked, prompting laughter and applause from the audience.

The comedian continued his monologue in the first SNL episode in the studio since the coronavirus shutdown in March led to the show filming remotely by joking about how the pandemic had upended his life.

"This is a special show. This show is quite different than every other show. There are so many protocols... everybody in this audience has been checked and all week, I've had things going up my nose. Every day I come in here. I haven't had so much stuff up my nose since I shared a dressing room with Chris Farley," Rock joked.

"Everything, the world is insane right now... but one thing we can agree upon, COVID has ruined our plans. We all used to have plans before COVID. Remember you used to be able to plan stuff?

"My sister was getting married, man. I paid Bell Biv DeVoe $80,000 man, and I can't get it back. I had tickets to Coachella, man. I know 200,000 Americans are dead, but I'm not seeing Rage Against the Machine this year... that is a travesty."

Rock later made more jokes at Trump's expense, but also took the opportunity to rail against the U.S. government and urge Americans to vote in November's election.

He joked about how he had noticed the pandemic was making people reassess their personal relationships, but said Americans also need to renegotiate their relationship with the government.

"Our relationship to the government doesn't work. I mean, I think Joe Biden should be the last president ever," he said. "We need a whole new system... I mean, what job do you have for four years, no matter what? Like, if you hired a cook and he was making people vomit every day, do you sit there and go, 'well he's got a four year deal. We just gotta vomit for four more years.'"

Rock continued: "To be the President of the United States, all you have to be is 35 and born in the United States. So, you know, if anybody can be the president, then anybody can be the president. That's how we got in this predicament. I mean, there should be some rules to being the president.

"There's more rules to a game show than running for president, like Donald Trump left a game show to run for president because it was easier. There's rules to being on Jeopardy you can't just jump on Jeopardy, you can't throw your son on Jeopardy or your son-in-law. Steve Harvey can't put his family on Family Feud. There's like real scrutiny man."

He added: "Do the Democrats even want to win? The Democrats just keep putting up 75-year-old people to run against Trump. One thing we can say about Trump, he got the most energy of any 75-year-old person on the face of the earth... even Mick Jagger is like, 'Slow down, Donald.'"

Rock said that lawmakers in Congress need term limits.

"We've agreed in the United States that we cannot have kings, yet we have dukes and duchesses running the Senate and the Congress making decisions for poor people," he said.

"Rich people making decisions for poor people... that's like your handsome friend giving you dating advice. Like, 'I think you should go over there and grab her by the a** and tell her it's yours.' 'Yeah, that works for you, Idris!'"

But Rock then took on a more serious note, saying "we got to get out there, we got to vote."

"The government does not want you to vote. Why do I know they don't want you to vote?Because election day is a Tuesday in November. Why would anybody ever put something on a Tuesday November? Does anybody get married on a Tuesday in November? Church ain't on a Tuesday. Even Jesus avoids Tuesday. If this show was Tuesday Night Live, it would have got cancelled in 1975. That's why we've got to vote and we've got to take it serious."

Chris Rock
Actor Chris Rock joins New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at a press conference to promote coronavirus testing, social distancing and the use of a face mask on May 28 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images