live from new york
April 14, 2019

NBC's Saturday Night Live took a little break from U.S. politics during the cold open on Saturday evening's episode.

Instead, the cast found themselves in a jail cell, where Kenan Thompson, Kyle Mooney, and Chris Redd portray three unnamed prisoners, who are the focus of an MSNBC prison show titled Locked Up. The latter two actors almost come to blows when comparing who committed the more intense crime before Thompson breaks them apart. But the tough guys are soon introduced to Kate McKinnon's Lori Loughlin, who floors the other inmates with tales of how she payed $500,000 to get her daughter into the University of Southern California.

But it's not long before McKinnon is one-upped, either. Pete Davidson appears as lawyer Michael Avenatti and easily captures the championship belt, which is then shortly taken by guest star Michael Keaton's gum-chewing Julian Assange. Watch the full sketch below. Tim O'Donnell

April 7, 2019

Saturday Night Live alum Jason Sudeikis returned to his old stomping grounds on Saturday evening to reprise his role as former Vice President Joe Biden.

The show used the cold open to lampoon Biden, who's come under fire recently after several women complained that his physical contact has made them feel uncomfortable in the past, as he gears up to run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Sudeikis' Biden is called into his 2020 headquarters where two of his staffers have set up a sensitivity training session, so that he can learn to respect people's personal space.

But it ends in abject failure.

Sudeikis learns absolutely nothing and even ends up more encouraged to continue behaving as he always has when SNL actor Leslie Jones excitedly recognizes him as "Obama's grandaddy." Watch the full skit below. Tim O'Donnell

March 31, 2019

After a two week hiatus, NBC's Saturday Night Live returned to the airwaves on Saturday evening.

The show's cold open, naturally, took on the end of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Alec Baldwin and Robert De Niro reprised their roles as President Trump and Mueller, respectively, while SNL regulars Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon portrayed Attorney General William Barr and Rudy Giuliani.

The sketch consisted of cutting back and forth between three scenes — all of which provided a very different take on Mueller's final report. De Niro's Mueller seriously explains his findings, indicating that while he did not find any concrete evidence of collusion with Russian election interference, there are still many questions remaining about the conduct of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign. Bryant's Barr, meanwhile, downplays Mueller's words while writing a summary of the report for Congress, outright declaring that Trump will get off scot-free. As for Baldwin's Trump? Well, he's in quite the celebratory mood, even invoking some lyrics from Smash Mouth's "All Star" to express his jubilation. Watch the full skit below. Tim O'Donnell

March 10, 2019

Saturday Night Live took a brief hiatus from the chaos in Washington during Saturday's cold open, instead targeting R&B singer R. Kelly, who was recently charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse against four women, including three who were minors at the time of the alleged abuse. Kelly was also just released from a Chicago jail on Saturday where he was being held for failing to pay child support.

The show specifically parodied Kelly's explosive interview with Gayle King on CBS This Morning last Wednesday. Cast members Leslie Jones and Kenan Thompson portrayed King and Kelly, respectively.

Thompson's Kelly repeatedly asks for Jones' King to refer to him as "victim" during the mock interview, but King steadfastly refuses. Kelly also consistently forgets that the interview has actually started, and occasionally breaks out into song to express his thoughts. Watch the full sketch below. Tim O'Donnell

March 3, 2019

Saturday Night Live lampooned Michael Cohen's testimony against President Trump on Wednesday, featuring a cameo from Ben Stiller as Trump's former personal lawyer.

SNL veteran Kenan Thompson, portraying House Oversight Committee chair Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), offered the scene's opening remarks. "For any other president, this hearing would be the most humiliating and damning day of their lives," he said. "For Trump, it's just Wednesday."

It took Stiller's Cohen a few beats to realize he was at a hearing, rather than a trial. He confused Thompson's Cummings for a judge and addressed his opening statement to a jury. He then acknowledged that while "the first time I testified was also under oath," this time "I, like, really mean it."

The sketch also parodied several members of Congress. Most notably SNL alum Bill Hader returned to his old stomping grounds to play an overly-enraged Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

Watch the full sketch below. Tim O'Donnell

February 17, 2019

Saturday Night Live's President Trump (Alec Baldwin) held a press conference on the White House lawn to announce his national emergency declaration, revealing the decision was just part of a grand plan to escape the confines of the presidency.

"We need wall," Baldwin's Trump told the media. "You can all see why I gotta fake this national emergency, right? I have to because I want to."

He then laid out exactly what would happen after he signed the emergency papers. First, he'll immediately be sued and the case will go to the Supreme Court, which will prompt him to call his "buddy," Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and tell him "it's time to repay the Donny." But Kavanaugh would feign ignorance. Next, Trump will plead insanity after Special Counsel Robert Mueller releases his findings before spending "a few months in the puzzle factory" for his crimes. "And my personal hell of playing president will finally be over."

Trump then answered — or refused to answer — a few "softball questions" on tariffs and undocumented immigrants. Watch the full sketch, which the real President Trump made clear on Twitter Sunday morning he did not enjoy, below. Tim O'Donnell

February 10, 2019

Saturday Night Live took on Virginia's mushrooming blackface scandal — now involving Gov. Ralph Northam (D), Attorney General Mark Herring (D), and state Sen. Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R) — with an exasperated Keenan Thompson as the state legislature's ethics committee chair making very, very clear wearing blackface "was never funny or cool."

Yes, even if it was part of a costume as a black person. Yes, even if the costume were of a woman. Yes, even if your costume won a contest. Yes, even if you were just goofing around with friends. Yes, even if it was the 1980s. Yes, also the 1990s.

Watch the full sketch below. Bonnie Kristian

January 20, 2019

Saturday Night Live returned from a holiday hiatus with Alec Baldwin as President Trump playing Deal or No Deal to end the partial government shutdown, as "a TV game show with women holding briefcases" is the "only format [he] can understand."

SNL's Trump gives an overview of the plan the real president proposed earlier Saturday, but host Steve Harvey (Kenan Thompson) has an array of alternative deals from congressional leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Kate McKinnon) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (Alex Moffat). Trump cannot be tempted by their pitches, but when a Clemson University football player shows up with some "hamberders," he's ready to talk.

Watch the full sketch below. Bonnie Kristian

See More Speed Reads