“Saturday Night Live” welcomed 2017 by bringing back Alec Baldwin for its first show of the year — and naturally, the show took shot after shot at President-Elect Donald Trump. The cold open focused on Trump’s recent press conference and took full advantage of Baldwin’s impersonation of Trump.
“Yes. This is real life. This is really happening,” said Baldwin’s Trump as he began the mock press conference, which spent most of its time on Buzzfeed’s recently controversial and salacious dossier release regarding Trump’s relationship with Russia.
Instead of focusing its attention on the media’s strange and hateful obsession with unverified reports and tabloid-level rumors, it went for jokes that scraped the bottom of the barrel in its Trump bashing.
Also on the chopping block was Steve Harvey. The “Family Feud” host recently had a positive meeting with President-Elect Trump, in which the two men discussed programs that could potentially help inner cities. “SNL” found humor in a political rival reaching across party lines and let cast member Kenan Thompson make Harvey look like a buffoon. “Yeah. I do government now,” said Thompson’s clueless version of Harvey.
Also in the open, Baldwin’s Trump called Speaker of the House Paul Ryan his pet — and wove in jokes about the inauguration performers.
The “Weekend Update” segment had its usual leftist bent. In reference to a tweet from Donald Trump that asked, “Are we living in Nazi Germany?” co-host Colin Jost said, “Nazi Germany at least had the guts to take on Russia.”
Trump’s tweet was partly in reference to the controversial report from Buzzfeed.
The segment took more digs at Steve Harvey and brought on comedian and cast member Pete Davidson in an attempt to tear apart each one of Trump’s Cabinet picks. Imaginatively — he mainly focused on their looks.
Trump did get a slight pat on the back (such as it is from “SNL”) when co-host Michael Che mentioned a viral moment from the president-elect’s recent press conference in which he repeatedly refused to answer a question from a CNN reporter. “I know I’m not supposed to like that guy, but damn, that was funny,” laughed the comedian.
Another segment took light jabs at Hollywood’s obsession with self-important political talk about the president-elect. In the skit, three airheaded artists promoted an inappropriate film, yet insisted it was a politically relevant work that pushed various social agendas and took on President-Elect Trump.
The rest of the episode, hosted by “Rogue One” actress Felicity Jones, was oddly flat for what was supposed to be the show that kicked off the new year with a bang. The left-leaning political views weren’t surprising at all, but the rest of the show proved “SNL” can still manage to get little more than a couple chuckles in an hour-and-a-half.
Before the first episode of 2017 aired, NBC showed a vintage episode of “Saturday Night Live” hosted by the recently passed Carrie Fisher. The 1978 episode featured Fisher dressed as Princess Leia in “Star Wars,” performing opposite comedians like Bill Murray and the Blues Brothers — Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi — as the musical guests.