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'SNL': Robert De Niro channels Robert Mueller

'SNL': Robert De Niro channels Robert Mueller
On 'Saturday Night Live,' Robert De Niro, left, played Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and Ben Stiller was Trump attorney Michael Cohen. (NBC / Will Heath/NBC)

With Robert De Niro as Robert Mueller and Kenan Thompson as a singing lobster, "Saturday Night Live" hit inspired highs this weekend.

The headline-making opening reunited "Meet the Fockers" stars De Niro and Ben Stiller, playing embattled Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

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"This whole raid was a complete violation of attorney-criminal privilege," Cohen complained to Attorney General Jeff Sessions (Kate McKinnon) and Vice President Mike Pence (Beck Bennett).

Sessions and Pence sent Cohen off to a lie-detector test administered by Special Counsel Mueller (De Niro in a brilliant makeup job). Cohen admitted making a payment to Stormy Daniels and threatening people.

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De Niro's Mueller called him "a little weasel" and warned, "Now we're going to catch you little Fockers." "SNL" deftly skewered current events and spoofed the popular movie.

The show also taught us that you don't order lobster in a diner in an elaborate sketch that was "SNL" at its zany best. The lobster (Thompson) and its handlers responded with songs from the Broadway musical "Les Miserables." In the spirit of "The Carol Burnett Show," the cast belted out the numbers happily and with feeling.

McKinnon was a particular delight as baby lobster Cosette. She had a good night, and so did Thompson. He energized the spoof of Netflix's "Wild Wild Country" as a sex-obsessed cult member.

Jack White was the first-rate musical guest, and former "SNL" writer John Mulaney made a confident debut as host. In his best sketch, Mulaney was a drag brunch waitress who tossed around put-downs and chewed out one customer.

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Mulaney was the waiter in the singing lobster sketch, and he was a sexually excited student who refused to stand during the National School Walkout. The host plowed through the weaker stuff: as a doctor treating a man with horns and as the creator of a sitcom about a father and son who switched places.

"Weekend Update" served up the Trump jokes. Anchor Colin Jost noted how "historic" is used frequently to describe the Trump administration.

"Historic has become a polite way of saying unbelievably terrible," Jost said.

The president called former FBI Director James Comey "a leaker and liar, which coincidentally is also the name of the video the Russians have," Jost said.

Anchor Michael Che dismissed Trump's claim of being a germaphobe by citing the president's relations with hookers.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham (McKinnon) celebrated being back on her show and vowed not to cave from bullying from "the tolerant left." She introduced new sponsors (Carl's Sr., Lady Bump Stock ).

"I will continue to defend the First Amendment. That's my right to bully people without being bullied in return," McKinnon's Ingraham told Jost.

hboedeker@orlandosentinel.com and 407-420-5756.

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