When Anthony Scaramucci was fired just 10 days into his stint as communications director on July 31, many mourned the loss of an opportunity for “Saturday Night Live” to caricature yet another White House official. Colin Jost expressed a similar sentiment Thursday night on the premiere of “Weekend Update: Summer Edition.”
“How did we at SNL miss Anthony Scaramucci?” he said. “He was like Christmas in July. Actually, he was like Hanukkah in July because he was around for about a week, and it’s a miracle he lasted that long.”
Fortunately, the SNL team remedied the situation with Bill Hader’s bombastic portrayal of The Mooch in the first of four extended “Weekend Update” segments to air this summer, hosted by Jost and co-anchor Michael Che. While Thursday’s half-hour special didn’t contribute much to a comedy scene dominated by late-night TV, it performed quite well. (Early ratings show that 6.5 million viewers tuned in, though this total will probably change to account for local NBC stations that aired preseason football instead.)
Here are the highlights, ranked from best to worst.
1. Mikey Day and Alex Moffat returned as bumbling brothers Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.
While these performances were relatively similar to what they’ve been in the past, Moffat stole the show with his childlike impression of Eric. A distracting fidget spinner, it turns out, was all Don Jr. needed to prevent his brother from discussing the family’s legal issues. The squeaky creatures of “Despicable Me” won a mention as well when Moffat imitated his father saying, “Eric, the minions aren’t real!”
2. Leslie Jones chatted about her summer beach bod.
Jones is a welcome presence on any show, as was reinforced Wednesday night when she returned to “Late Night With Seth Meyers” for another installment of “Game of Jones.” The comedian even referenced the HBO drama on “Weekend Update,” calling Jost a “sexy a– White Walker.” But her commentary on working out — “I’m doing it for me. I’m 49 years old and I want to look fine one more time before I die” — deserved the most laughs, in addition to her reaction to Jost complimenting her appearance: “I believe the words you are looking for are, ‘Damn, girl! You’ve got them Michelle Obama arms!”
3. Hader’s Scaramucci interrupted Che with a loud FaceTime call.
Even after that crazy New Yorker interview, The Mooch, a perfect Hader character, still has no regrets.
“All I did was sell my company, miss the birth of my child and ruin my entire reputation — all to be king of idiot mountain for 11 days,” he said. “But now, The Mooch is loose!”
And, we are told, we should be happy he ever rose to fame.
“You know how you miss me,” he said. “I’m like human cocaine. You get a little bump of me, I made you feel excited, but I was out of your system too quick and now that I’m gone, you’re all depressed and edgy and you’re trying to figure out how to score some more Scaramooch!”
4. Jost made a pretty solid self-referential joke.
The “Will & Grace” revival was picked up for a second season before its first aired, and Jost sensed a trend.
“Every time NBC has an even mildly successful show, they overdo it and dilute the brand,” he said. “And I’ll have more thoughts on this on next week’s ‘Saturday Night Live Weekend Update: Summer Edition.’”
He’s not entirely off base. Though nothing has been confirmed, NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt is apparently into the idea of reviving “The Office,” “30 Rock,” “The West Wing” and “ER.”
5. And, everything else.
“The Emoji Movie” isn’t great, Guam is in danger and LL Cool J will be honored by the Kennedy Center. Kenan Thompson’s big-talking LaVar Ball wasn’t too memorable, though Jost’s dismissal of him might’ve been: “Black Trump, everyone.”