Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz hasn’t yet appeared on “Saturday Night Live” — but his campaign produced a parody commercial to air in Iowa during the show Saturday night. The ad will appear just weeks before the Iowa presidential Republican caucuses in February.
The Texas senator’s campaign told the Independent Journal SNL is must-see TV.
“In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, we are excited to bring a Cruz family Christmas into the homes of SNL viewers in Iowa. Ted is a longtime fan of SNL, so the chance to film his own SNL-style commercial was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up!” the Cruz campaign said.
The parody features Cruz reading “Christmas classics” to his family, including stories like “How Obamacare Stole Christmas” and “Rudolph the Underemployed Reindeer.” His wife, Heidi, and two daughters appear alongside him.
"'Twas the night before the shutdown and all through the House, not a bill was stirring — not even to fund a mouse," Cruz says in the video.
Throughout the ad, Cruz takes jabs at various rivals and moments in politics. One book, titled “Frosty the Speaker of the House,” features an orange snowman holding a cigarette and a drink, clearly aimed at former House Speaker John Boehner.
“Saturday Night Live” has traditionally been an important presidential campaign stop, whether through appearances on the show or through advertising. Republican front-runner Donald Trump hosted the show in November while Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton appeared in a sketch in October.
After Trump’s appearance on the show, Republican rivals demanded that NBC offer equal time to other candidates per FCC requirements. The network acquiesced, and Republican candidates John Kasich, Mike Huckabee and Jim Gilmore all took advantage of the free airtime with ads of their own.
But Cruz is the only candidate to create a humorous, satirical ad to complement the sketch-comedy show. He is enjoying a surge of support among Republican voters, a Reuters poll indicated.