It seems like every week is a busy news week, but this one was particularly packed with the favorite comedic fodder for “Saturday Night Live”: Trump administration drama.
And that was before the show turned its attention to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her botched “60 Minutes” interview from last Sunday, in a pointed segment on Weekend Update.
SNL managed to work jokes about events less than 24-hours-old into the cold-open sketch about high-profile firings: Anderson Cooper (Alex Moffat) asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions (Kate McKinnon) why he fired former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe late Friday night, and just before he was about to retire.
“Hello! Look at me, I still got a job,” McKinnon’s wily Sessions said. “Mr. McCabe was in clear violation, because of his lack of candor — I don’t know, I can’t even dance around — Trump made me do it! McCabe, he saw too much.”
The fake Sessions added: “Look, I’m always down to clown, but this was sneaky, even for me! I’m just a simple man who wanted to make things bad for immigrants, and here I am taking away the pension of a Christian white. It ain’t right!”
Then came some cameos — John Goodman as former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, guest host Bill Hader as former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci and Fred Armisen as “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff.
“It’s just crazy how one day you’re the CEO of Exxon, a $50 billion company, and the next day you’re getting fired by a man who used to sell steaks in the mail,” Goodman’s Tillerson said, before crushing the glass of water in his hand. “Trump is a moron! Sorry I blurted that one out. It feels nice to say what I want, call Jurassic Park because the Rexy is loose!”
“It’s me, the Scara-mooch! Like these threads? The first suit made by the Olive Garden,” Hader yelled. “I’m the fidget spinner of the Trump White House. I made a big splash, then one day everybody was like, whoa, what the hell was that about?”
Maybe during any other week, DeVos’s “60 Minutes” remarks would have gotten top-billing as the cold open. But by Saturday, the interview was already a week old. Still, McKinnon’s rambling DeVos got the spotlight during Weekend Update, as she tried explain the rough interview: “I think the problem is that the words that were coming out of my mouth were bad, and that is because they came from my brain.”
Then came the random thoughts. “In Wyoming, for example, which has many potential grizzlies, there should be a school for bears, and in Louisiana, crocodile crossing guards.”
“Again, I think the states should choose how to best protect their schools based on their circumstances,” she said. “For example if two ‘Home Alone’-style bandits want to rob a school, that school should have the option of red hot doorknobs, or of a paint can that swings down a staircase. It’s that good school, good choice. So whatever they choose, we’re all working hard to ensure that all schools are safe learning environments for guns.”
She also revealed that she doesn’t like her job: “I do spend most of it getting screamed at while climbing into an Escalade, but I do like visiting good school and doing work sheets with cute little blacks, and the occasional stinky poor white.”
What was absent this week? Alec Baldwin’s Trump impersonation. So, don’t expect presidential tweets about SNL this time around.