From politics to entertainment, headlines for weeks have been dominated by stories of powerful men being accused of sexual misconduct.
So “Saturday Night Live” tried to address it throughout the show.
For the first time since returning to air this season, the cold open didn’t feature Alec Baldwin playing Donald Trump. But the show kept the focus on politics, with a sketch about allegations that Senate candidate Roy Moore pursued a 14-year-old when he was 32.
“Voters in Alabama will never elect someone who’s had relations with a minor,” Beck Bennett’s Vice President Pence said. SNL’s Roy Moore responded: “You sure about that?”
“It’s hard to convince people that you’re not into young girls when you dress like Woody from ‘Toy Story,'” Bennett’s Pence said, adding that Moore needs to “do the right thing.”
“All right, if everyone thinks I did it, I’ll marry her,” the Moore character answered.
The opening sketch also dropped the show’s first Louis C.K. mention. (The comedian, who has hosted SNL numerous times, said this week that the stories from women accusing him of sexual misconduct were true).
“Even I heard about Louis C.K. and I’m not allowed to watch TV,” Bennett’s Pence said. “I’m only allowed to listen to it.”
Tiffany Haddish — who made history Saturday as the first black female stand-up to host SNL — delivered a lively monologue and talked about how she gets her news from chatter at the beauty salon:
“We’ve been talking about the whole sexual harassment stuff that’s been going on, and look here, okay, guys? Fellas, I got a tip for y’all. I like to call it Tiffany’s tips — it’s a Tiff tip,” she said. “Listen, fellas, listen, okay — if you got your thing-thing out, and she’s got all her clothes on, you’re wrong! You’re in the wrong! Wait till she takes off her own clothes, then pull your thing-thing out, okay?”
The topic didn’t come back up until “Weekend Update.”
“Well, it’s a good weekend to stay inside since it’s 20 degrees out and everyone you’ve ever heard of is a sex monster,” Colin Jost cracked, with photos of C.K., Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein and Moore on the screen.
Jost told more jokes about Moore and tied them back to C.K. without ever mentioning the comic’s name.
“How are we still surprised that someone who puts the Ten Commandments up everywhere doesn’t follow them? What’s next? It turns out the guy who always jokes about masturbating wasn’t joking about masturbating?” Jost said as a photo of C.K. performing popped up.
Michael Che brought up one of the points that has been used to defend Moore: the age gap between Mary and Joseph. “Oh, that’s what you’re going for, Roy Moore was trying to make a Jesus? I guess R. Kelly was just trying to make it rain for 40 days and 40 nights.”
Cecily Strong appeared as “Claire from HR” to go through several obvious questions and answers on what’s appropriate in the workplace. She’s clearly frazzled, getting lunch from CVS and drinking from a bottle of hand sanitizer. “It’s been a crazy week,” she told Jost. “I haven’t been home in three days.”
Her first question: “What is the appropriate way to handle a workplace relationship? A: inform someone from HR. B, lock her in a room and make her look at it. Or C, bully her out of the entire industry.”
Jost answered “inform HR,” and Claire is relieved. “Oh good, you got it! You’d be surprised how many people get that wrong — you lose your damn mind, ah!”
Jost passed the quiz. “I’m sure I’ll be back next week,” Claire said, “and the week after that, because all of this isn’t just a scandal; it didn’t just start last week; it’s just actual reality for half of the population.”
Later in the show, some viewers became pretty uncomfortable with a documentary sketch about female researchers in the 1960s who tried to teach a dolphin to talk. The animal couldn’t focus once it hit breeding age, and the researchers (played by Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant) talked about having to pleasure the dolphin to do their work. (It turns out that the sketch may have been loosely based on a real-life story.)
Haddish’s character, a fellow researcher, channels all the shock and disgust the audience may have felt about it. She reads from her field notes: “No, no, no! That’s nasty! All of you are nasty, sick people.”