With Alec Baldwin hosting Saturday Night Live for a record 17th time, last night’s installment almost – not quite, but almost – was like a theme episode, with you-know-who as the subject.
Let’s start with the best of three non-Melissa politically oriented bits – the Fatal Attraction digital-short take-down with Kate McKinnon’s Kellyanne Conway in Glenn Close’s psycho spot and, as her obsession, Beck Bennett’s Jake Tapper of CNN, who makes the mistake of banning the credibility-challenged Conway from his show.
The moment we see a negligee-wearing McKinnon sitting uninvited in Tapper’s darkened apartment, we know the “I am not going to be ignored” isn’t far behind. What we might not expect is the touch of evil McKinnon is bringing to her Conway these days, a darker vision than the in-over-her-head dupe suggested earlier in the season. In fact, she takes Conway into full-on Super Villain mode this time around, with the sketch’s nicely done fx-assisted Death Becomes Her nod at the end. “See you on the news,” she winks into the camera after using up one of her few remaining lives.
Check it out above.
At #2 is “Leslie Wants to Play Trump,” another pre-taped short, this time starring Leslie Jones and other cast members as themselves, pondering a post-Baldwin SNL. Despite skepticism and rivalry, Jones makes up her mind to get the Trump gig if and when Baldwin exits, and her appearance in full Trump drag is yet another triumph for the show’s hair, make-up and costume wizards. Jones, too, is terrific, poking fun at her own shouty persona as much as her new orange-topped one. And watch for Vanessa Bayer’s nice assist.
And finally, Baldwin as Trump, last on this short list mostly because he no longer has the surprise factor going for him. This week, Baldwin’s Trump takes his case to TV’s People’s Court, where he’s suing the three “so-called” federal judges who rejected his travel ban, while also welcoming Bennett’s shirtless Putin as a character witness. Also in the courtroom: the Steve Bannon/Grim Reaper character, most definitely not played this week by Mikey Day, who here teams with Alex Moffat in their nicely etched Trump Sons.
The skit has its moments, even if the too-obvious People’s Court set-up is as rushed as the judge says Trump’s executive order was. Take a look:
And as a political bonus, here’s McKinnon’s Weekend Update appearance as Senator Elizabeth Warren, who turns an inquisitive, crusading eye to Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che.