Las Vegas could probably make a bundle allowing people to bet on what Trump-related news story “Saturday Night Live” will skewer during any particular episode. This week, the show attacked Thursday’s bizarre White House meeting between Kanye West and President Trump.
Recently, SNL has essentially reenacted popular news clips (nearly verbatim in a few cases, including this one) with a slight bit of commentary, a trend that continued with Saturday’s cold open.
As cast member Chris Redd’s West goes on an abridged version of the actual rant that made headlines Thursday, Trump (played by returning guest star Alec Baldwin) questions the rapper’s sanity through an inner monologue — and eventually realizes that West is the black version of himself. Meanwhile, Kenan Thompson’s football legend Jim Brown watches on in horror and, in his own internal monologue, wonders if there’s such a thing as “tri-polar” . . . because if there is, SNL’s West has got it.
To fully understand the sketch, it’s important to know what, exactly, West told Trump on Thursday — read our full, annotated transcript here.
The sketch begins with a C-SPAN graphic screen, announcing coverage of the Oval Office meeting with Trump, West and Brown before midnight’s airing of “Interns Gone Wild.” It then offers a brief preview of the conversation to come, which features “prison reform, education, alternate universes, Superman and flying cars.” In other words, it’s not too different from what took place on Thursday.
“Thank you all for joining us today for this important discussion. It’s in no way a publicity stunt,” Baldwin’s Trump says to kick things off, adding, “This is a serious, private conversation between three friends, plus 50 reporters with cameras.”
SNL’s Trump also thanks West for a pair of his custom sneakers: “They’re white, they’re wide and they’re never going to be worth as much as you say they are.”
Redd’s West then launches into a diatribe about time being a construct and the 13th Amendment including a “trap door” (again, not that different from what he actually said). As he does, the inner monologue of Baldwin’s Trump takes over, and it isn’t favorable.
“Ohhh, this guy might be cuckoo,” Baldwin’s Trump thinks, adding that he’s met with Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong Un and “they made a lot more sense than” West.
When Redd’s West, through a gold grill, proclaims that Chicago’s murder rate is dropping by 20 percent each year and “soon, it’s going to be a negative murder rate. We’re going to be digging bodies out of the ground,” SNL’s Trump wonders, “He doesn’t listen to anyone but himself. Who does he remind me of?”
Then comes his eureka moment.
“I don’t wanna brag, bro. I don’t wanna brag, but I really have a high IQ. I’m a stable genius. I got a big brain, and I got the best words,” Redd’s West exclaims. These phrases, of course, are similar to comments that the real-life Trump has uttered, exclaimed, shouted or told to reporters. And that’s when it hits SNL’s version of the president.
“Oh my God, he’s black me!” he thinks. “This is like being visited by the ghost of Christmas black!”
Throughout, Thompson’s Brown is wide-eyed, looking terrified. At one point, he thinks, “I played football with a leather helmet, and my brain is still working better than his.”
Eventually, Redd’s West shows Trump a photo of an invisible plane to be Trump’s new Air Force One — really, it’s just a picture of Wonder Woman — but first he enters in his password. Exactly like the widely reported news on Thursday, his password is “000000.” Baldwin’s Trump, of course, has a thought about that.
“His password is six zeros? Well, at least now I feel a lot better about my password. 80085, a.k.a. BOOBS,” he thinks.
Eventually, Baldwin’s Trump sums up the meeting by saying, “And let’s remember the big lesson today: that black people love me. They love me way more than they love Alec Baldwin.”
“So in conclusion, 13th Amendment, Chiraq, trap doors lead to the Unabomber, male energy, Trump is my dad, Hillary is a woman and the media needs to start making this president look good,” Redd’s West says, to which SNL’s Trump just thinks “Poopity-scoop” — which are the lyrics to West’s real-life troll of a song, “Lift Yourself.”
The conclusion from Thompson’s Brown is much more somber: “The only thing I definitely want to point out is that mental health in the black community is apparently an even bigger issue than I thought.”
To SNL’s credit, the sketch shows that its comedy doesn’t have strong loyalties to friends of the show. After all, West has repeatedly appeared as one of the SNL’s most dynamic and exciting musical guests. In fact, he was the musical act for this season’s premiere, though he reportedly clashed with the cast over his choice to wear a red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap for his final performance, during which he launched into an extended speech about his admiration for the president. Most of his remarks were cut from the show’s original airing and appeared only through social media.
It will be interesting to see whether the notoriously thin-skinned rapper ever returns.