“Saturday Night Live” found new ways to lampoon President Donald Trump this weekend. It was an above-average “SNL” because Trump and current events have given the show so much to satirize, and the NBC show responded with inspired bits.
In the episode’s high point, Kate McKinnon was hilarious as special counsel Robert Mueller, who couldn’t contain his glee about what he has against the Trump administration.
Mueller described his investigation as “situation’s under control.” He dismissed the idea that the president could fire him. “The cat’s already out of the bag. And the bag’s full of… How do I say this? .. Michael Flynn’s wiretaps.”
Mueller told “Weekend Update” host Colin Jost: “The guy didn’t leave me a trail of bread crumbs. He left me full loaves.”
The special counsel promised that his conclusion would be more satisfying than the “Lost” series finale. The Mueller impression was one of McKinnon’s best, up there with her Kellyanne Conway and Jeff Sessions.
“Weekend Update” also supplied Stormy Daniels (Cecily Strong), the adult film star who allegedly had an affair with Trump.
“I’m like a liberal hero, even though I’m a Republican porn star who loves Sarah Palin,” Daniels announced.
Daniels weighed in on her new celebrity. “I get that I’m not what these people envisioned their hero would look like, but guess what America?” she told the audience. “I’m the hero that you deserve right now.”
“Weekend Update” anchor Colin Jost noted the first anniversary of Trump’s presidency. “Congratulations to Donald Trump, who managed to keep our government open for almost one whole year,” he said.
The opening presented press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Aidy Bryant) and Trump doctor Ronny Jackson (Beck Bennett) tangling with reporters at a news conference. “The president has a rockin’ bod with enough cushion for the pushin’,” Jackson gushed — echoing the tone of the real doctor.
Host Jessica Chastain joined the Trump ridicule as host of a game show called “What Even Matters Anymore?” The sketch examined how standards for public outrage have fallen under Trump.
The game show posed the question: What would matter? Trump punches the pope, one contestant said. If a sex tape with with Don Jr. was found, another suggested. If the latter happened, host Chastain said, Fox News would report that the president is a family man. Chastain became so increasingly distraught that the actors dropped the pretense of playing characters.
Musical guest Troye Sivan undoubtedly boosted his celebrity with two striking performances. The Australian singer first delivered his hit “My My My!” Then he offered “The Good Side,” which has a beautiful melody that lingers in the memory.
Chastain was a fine host who bolstered a variety of sketches. She was a contestant in a fast-moving spoof of “The Bachelor.” She was an FBI agent in a send-up of “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” filled with gang violence. She was the host of “Google Talks,” which had an audience member who looked like Bart Simpson (Mikey Day).
The “SNL” host was a Boston representative competing for the Amazon headquarters. Chastain was a dense customer at a Mexican restaurant — a sketch with a clever ending. She was a doctor obsessed with a goofy patient (Pete Davidson). And she was an actress playing a serious lawyer but being coached by a director (Kenan Thompson) to use mannerisms from “The Jeffersons.”
Chastain and Leslie Jones threw themselves into the last one, which generated chuckles at the show’s conclusion. But this “SNL” will be remembered for the timely Trump jokes.
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