The long-running sketch show is currently enjoying its best viewing numbers since the mid-1990s, and on Saturday it again tapped into the comedic well that led to its rating renaissance: President Trump.
Alec Baldwin returned to portray the commander in chief, hosting the show for the 17th time. But it was Melissa McCarthy who sparkled in the cold opening, reprising her role as White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
The show also again poked fun at Spicer’s penchant for chewing gum, with McCarthy at one point gnawing on a cartoonishly gigantic piece, then throwing it at a reporter.
SNL and McCarthy did end up returning to some of the same schticks as last week — such as Spicer using wordplay props in an effort to explain Trump’s at-times confusing policies and using the lectern to tackle the press corps — but as the saying goes, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.
SNL took Trump’s “SEE YOU IN COURT” tweet literally, with Baldwin’s Trump appearing in court to argue for his travel ban in a spoof of The People’s Court. Trump wrote the all-caps tweet shortly after a federal appeals court unanimously ruled to uphold the suspension of his ban, which the judges said presented “significant constitutional questions.”
Trump’s bumbling defence of the ban devolved into a rendition of Bad Boys by the Jamaican reggae band Inner Circle — the theme song for the reality TV show Cops, perhaps a dig at Trump’s reality TV show roots — and he called on shirtless “longtime crush” Russian President Vladimir Putin as a character witness. There was no kissing this time around.
Kate McKinnon, as top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, spoofed Fatal Attraction in a skit where Conway goes to increasingly desperate — and violent — lengths to convince CNN anchor Jake Tapper (played by Beck Bennett) to let her back on television following the made-up “Bowling Green massacre” incident she infamously spoke of on his show.
CNN, citing “credibility issues,” had passed on interviewing Conway days after she said two Iraqis came to the U.S. during Barack Obama’s presidency and perpetrated a massacre in a city in Kentucky. No such event ever happened and Conway later said she misspoke.
Ed Sheeran was this week’s musical act, but didn’t pack the attention-grabbing power of the politically charged stars.
She had tweeted earlier in the week that she was open to portraying Steve Bannon on the show, and even changed her Twitter profile picture to a digitally altered one featuring a meld of her face and that of the president’s chief strategist.
But her spokeswoman said on Friday that O’Donnell would not appear on Saturday’s show. Instead, it appeared she spent Saturday night watching the UFC 208 main event bout between Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie.
O’Donnell, who has publicly feuded with Trump for years, is perhaps best known as a former co-host on the TV talk show The View. She was also mentioned once by the now-leader of the free world during his first presidential debate with Hillary Clinton.
“I said very tough things to [O’Donnell] and I think everybody would agree she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her,” Trump said back in September after Clinton accused him of verbally attacking women.
In response, O’Donnell said on Twitter that Trump would never be president — reiterating a sentiment she had tweeted dozens of times before.
HE WILL NEVER BE PRESIDENT … @WeinerAnne