The cold open preceding the penultimate episode of this season of Saturday Night Live, an interview between Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump and Michael Che’s Lester Holt, ranked as one of the show’s most brutal mockeries of the president as it blasted through the political headlines of the last week.
The first — which viewers were undoubtedly anticipating hearing about on the show — was Trump’s controversial firing of FBI Director James Comey. SNL didn’t dance around the big question surrounding the political shocker, which comes down to whether Trump fired Comey because of the latter’s mishandling of the Hillary Clinton email scandal, as the president claims, or if Comey got fired because he was leading the investigation into whether Trump’s team colluded with Russia during the campaign.
“Well first, all I can just say is that I won the election fair and square, and everyone knows that,” Baldwin’s Trump offered when first asked about Comey. When Che’s Holt pressed him to stay on topic rather than repeat that oft-heard refrain, SNL’s Trump came right out and said, “I fired him because of Russia. I thought, he was investigating Russia, I didn’t like that, I should fire him.”
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“But that’s obstruction of justice!” Che’s Holt cried. “Sure, okay,” the fake president replied.
Che looked dumbfounded. “So, did I get him? Is this all over?” he asked, then came back to reality: “No, I didn’t? Nothing matters? Absolutely nothing matters anymore?”
The cold open rolled on through this week’s headlines, checking off the much-derided piece of news that Trump got two scoops of ice cream when everyone else at a dinner got one before it touched on Trump’s claim that he invented the phrase “priming the pump.” Che’s Holt informed the Baldwin’s Trump that that expression has, in fact, been around for a while, but fake Trump corrected him and crudely redefined it: “It’s when I tug on myself for about half an hour before Melania comes in, so she can find it easier.”
Throwing in another reference from the last week, that earned Baldwin’s Trump an Anderson Cooper eye roll.
The final bits of vicious ridicule of the 45th president had Baldwin’s Trump, responding to a question about Trump’s alleged tapes of Comey, saying, “I tape a lot of people, I tape whoever I want, whenever I want. They call me a serial tapist.”
Finally, when Che’s Holt pointed out how the “optics” around the administration are horrible, Baldwin replied, “Come on, you think I care about optics? Look at me. I sit on every chair like it’s a toilet, okay?”