“Saturday Night Live” got the gang back together for a parody of “The Sopranos” finale for the cold open of its own finale, which found its versions of President Trump, Rudolph W. Giuliani, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Robert S. Mueller III all dining at the same Holsten’s diner in New Jersey — which means one thing: A lot of celebrity guests were back.
During the final stretch of its 43rd season, the show has heavily relied on outside celebrities, particularly for its cold opens. Just two weeks ago, it jam-packed a shocking amount of big names into an all-out takedown of the Trump administration.
Saturday’s cold open, however, was a bit tempered. It focused on the recent first anniversary of Mueller’s investigation as special counsel.
Alec Baldwin, reprising his role as Trump, strolls into the restaurant and lets the stunned server know that he’s meeting some friends. But he does have a question: “Is HPV different from HIV?” (It’s a question Trump asked Bill Gates here in the real world, according to Gates.)
Then he leans over to the tabletop jukebox and tosses on Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.” As those thundering piano lines begin rolling, Kate McKinnon’s Giuliani walks into the restaurant and spots her new boss.
Here in the real world, Giuliani has been the target of criticism for his seemingly strange legal tactics. During the past few weeks, he “skipped from one media appearance to another without apparent regard for consistent adherence to the facts,” as The Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan put it. The cold open wasted no time targeting this.
“Hey Rudy, did you go on Fox News last night?” SNL’s Trump says when the fake Giuliani sits down.
“Yeah, like 20 times!” he replies. “Don’t worry. I told them you were openly colluding with Russia, but then I ended with SO WHAT! … I even confessed to some crimes you didn’t do, then I said, ‘What are you gonna do, arrest the president? I dare ya!’ ”
“Okay. I think they get the point,” Trump says, then he reaches across the table and takes the hands of McKinnon’s Giuliani. “I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me.”
“You’re the best, and last, client I ever had,” Giuliani responds.
The door pops open again, and in storms a harried looking Michael Cohen, again portrayed by Ben Stiller. As it turns out, Stiller’s Cohen has been having a really rough time lately, “mostly just preparing to go to jail and stuff.”
SNL’s Trump remains positive, however: “I’ve heard jail’s fun. It’s just like camp. Plus, there’s a free gym. Dude, you’re going to get so jacked.” And, as the fake Giuliani pointed out, “they even have programs where you can get a real law degree.” Fake Trump later adds that he won’t be able to visit the fake Cohen in jail because he has “golf.”
Still, the show’s Cohen appreciates the positive thinking.
“You gotta focus on the good times,” he says. “Isn’t that what you once told me? That’s why you told me to keep a copy of the Russian pee tape.”
An excited Giuliani interrupts and says he has to show the tape on CNN, because “Don Lemon’s gonna love that.”
Trump’s sons Don Jr. and Eric Trump, portrayed by Mikey Day and Alex Moffatt, arrive. Well, Don Jr. does, at least. Eric’s busy trying to parallel park his plastic tricycle outside — another callback to the “Sopranos” finale.
“I couldn’t think of three people I’d rather be with here tonight. My best son and two of my last 15 lawyers,” Baldwin’s Trump says.
As they chat about legal strategies such as faking his own death and threatening children, the show’s Mueller — portrayed by Robert De Niro in the style of his FBI agent character from the “Meet the Parents” movie franchise — wanders into the restaurant, unnoticed by everyone but Trump.
In fact, Mueller so haunts Trump that no one else can see him.
Everyone keeps babbling on about illegal activities, such as threatening children, as the show’s Trump grows increasingly uncomfortable. De Niro’s Mueller finally gets up to use the restroom. He spins around first, gives Trump the “I’ve got my eyes on you” hand gesture from “Meet the Parents” and walks into the bathroom.
Then, just as in “The Sopranos,” the screen immediately cuts to black. When the picture returns, the whole crew yells the catchphrase, “And live from New York, it’s Saturday night!”