‘S.N.L.’ Takes Aim at Trump and the Abortion Bans
A “Saturday Night Live” season finale is traditionally an occasion for the show to pull out all the stops, leave everything on the stage, tear it all down and figure out how to put it back together in the fall. In this weekend’s conclusion to “S.N.L.” Season 44 (which was hosted by Paul Rudd), the musical guest DJ Khaled certainly brought it, performing with a pantheon of surprise performers including Lil Wayne, Big Sean, Meek Mill, SZA and John Legend, while also paying tribute to the rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was fatally shot in March.
And, well, Alec Baldwin and the “S.N.L.” cast tried their hand at a musical number of their own.
The show’s opening sketch began with Baldwin (who has been a more infrequent presence this past season) as President Trump in the Oval Office. He explained that he was excited for the summer and said that the “American economy is on fire — I’m not going to tell you if it’s a fire that keeps you warm or burns your house to the ground, but it’s some kind of fire.”
Baldwin added, “I’m on cruise control to a second term and there’s nothing the Democrats in Congress can do about it. So sit back and enjoy the ride, America, because tonight, well — ”
This kicked off a music parody of Queen’s glam-rock classic “Don’t Stop Me Now” that also featured Beck Bennett as Vice President Mike Pence, Cecily Strong as Melania Trump and Aidy Bryant as Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Rather than try to sing it ourselves, we’ll just share some of the most memorable lyrics:
Bryant: He’s a loose cannon ripping up the laws of society
You can’t subpoena him, he’s gonna obstruct
Strong: He’s a billionaire, unless you take a look at his tax returns
He’s gonna hide, hide, hide
Oh, there’s no showing you
Baldwin: I’m burning every bridge, picking every fight
Strong: That’s why they call him Mr. Bad Advice
‘Cause he listens to the Fox News guys
There were further cameos from Chris Redd as Kanye West, Kenan Thompson as Justice Clarence Thomas, Kate McKinnon as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Mikey Day as Donald Trump Jr. and Alex Moffat as Eric Trump. (When he was told that he was allowed to sing as well, Moffat performed a verse of the “Muppet Show” theme song.)
Revisiting his role as the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, Robert De Niro attempted to halt the performance, declaring that he had “something very important to say to the American people — something they need to hear.” But Baldwin simply talked over him — “No collusion, no obstruction,” he said — and resumed the number.
At the conclusion of the sketch, Baldwin told the audience, “I don’t know what’s next for me, but I wouldn’t be Donald Trump if I didn’t say tune in next season to see who lives and who dies.”
McKinnon added, “Spoiler: I live. I live for another 150 years. And the Iron Throne will be mine.”
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Nearly a ‘Game of Thrones’ Tribute of the Week
In a filmed segment, Pete Davidson started off what seemed like a rap bidding farewell to “Game of Thrones” on the eve of its series finale:
Jon Snow, dragons, lotsa wolves
Blue zombies, armor clothes, silver swords that extendo
Prostitute houses, lotsa wine
Big ass wall, I never miss an episode
But when he was called out by Kenan Thompson for not really knowing the series (and not recognizing the actor Jacob Anderson, who plays Grey Worm), Davidson changed course and started rapping about a show that he said he did like — the Netflix comedy “Grace and Frankie,” starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin:
They once caught their exes kissing,
You don’t know what you’re missing
Grace dated Craig T. Nelson
Frankie dated Ernie Hudson
They’re both like 80-something
Riding hot air balloons like it’s nothing
Think I’m bluffing let me tell you boy
It sure is something
Leslie Jones Segment of the Week
For a “Weekend Update” commentary on the numerous states that have recently passed sweeping prohibitions on abortion, Leslie Jones took to the stage wearing a costume from “The Handmaid’s Tale.” She said to Colin Jost, “My name is actually Ofjost. But I don’t know how good of a baby maker I’m going to be because my eggs is dusty as hell, but I’ll give it a shot.”
Describing these abortion restrictions as “a war on woman,” Jones said, “This is how it starts. I’m out living my life. Then I see on the news, a bunch of states are trying to ban abortion. And they tell me what I can and can’t do with my body. Next thing you know, I’m in Starbucks and they won’t take my credit card because I’m a woman. Instead of the regular reason, which is, I don’t have no money on it.”
Jones also offered her support to other women who may feel “scared or confused,” telling them, “You’re not alone.” “You can’t tell me what to do with my body,” Jones said. “You can’t make me small or put me in a box. I’m six feet tall and 233 pounds. Ain’t no box big enough to hold me. And I know, ‘cause one time I tried to mail myself to a dude.”
Spit Take of the Week
Speaking from the “Weekend Update” desk, Cecily Strong reprised her role as Jeanine Pirro, the Fox News personality who was suspended by the network earlier this year for anti-Muslim remarks. After expressing her gratitude to “the brave sponsors who stuck with me despite the accusations by the radical loony left,” Strong took intermittent sips from a martini glass and emptied its contents on the “Weekend Update” anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che.
When Jost asked her if she could speak more softly, Strong answered, “Oh, no can do, bud. Twenty years ago, I yelled at a waiter because my Cobb salad had a cranberry in it. And now I’m locked at this volume every day for the rest of my life.”
Talk Show Parody of the Week
You had to wait until late in the show to get to it, but this week “S.N.L.” did once again return to the comfortable terrain of “The View,” the ABC daytime talk show that Leslie Jones (playing co-host Whoopi Goldberg) described as “the most high-stakes brunch on television.”
Aidy Bryant was back as Meghan McCain (“I’m getting attacked and as the person most upset right now, I am right,” she said), and Paul Rudd had his first crack at playing Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., who is vying for the Democratic presidential nomination. “I may only be 37 years old, but I do feel like I represent everyday Americans,” Rudd said. “I’m just a Harvard-educated, multilingual war veteran Rhodes scholar. I’m just like you.”
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