Entertainment

‘SNL’ Attacks Trump with ‘Message from Russia’

Baldwin-less show desperate to hammer new president in any way possible — and still isn't funny

There was Obama and there was Putin. But there was no Trump. That’s right — the “Saturday Night Live” that aired within 24 hours of the inauguration had a Baldwin-less program.

Guess he had the night off. Perhaps he was resting after all that protesting in New York just hours earlier. Curiously, there was no word on staff writer Katie Rich, either, whose tweet about Trump’s 10-year-old son caused an uproar earlier in the day.

Related: ‘SNL’ Writer Bullies Donald Trump’s Son

As for the Putin sketch, played by relative newcomer Beck Bennett, he was shirtless and attempting to reassure Americans anxious about President Donald Trump. The “special message from Russia” served as the show’s cold open.

“You are worried that the country is in the hands of this unpredictable man,” Bennett’s Putin said. “It’s not. Relax, I got this.” He added that though the new president is “perhaps not” perfect, he could “get him there.”

“I’m glad to see so many people showed up to your inauguration,” Putin said, addressing Trump and showing a picture of a crowded National Mall in D.C.  “Oh, wait, that’s the Women’s March.”

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Cast members chose to bid adieu to President Obama not with one last sketch, but a song.

At the conclusion of the Aziz Ansari-hosted episode, cast member Cecily Strong took center stage in front of a large black-and-white portrait of the now former president, and sang, “To Sir, With Love,” the theme to the 1967 movie of the same name in which a group of students serenade their beloved teacher, played by Sidney Poitier.

Cast members chose to bid adieu to President Obama not with one last sketch, but a song.

At the end of the song she held up a cup. “We got you a mug. It says ‘World’s Best President,'” Strong said.

True fans of the late-night show would be hard-pressed not to think about just what Strong would have gotten to do had Hillary Clinton won. Surely this “World’s Best President” bit wouldn’t have even been pitched.

But it was host Ansari who really went for it, and where else but with the opening monologue. The creator/star of the Netflix hit “Master of None” warned about what he called “the lowercase KKK movement, casual white supremacy.”

“The problem is, there’s a new group … I’m talking about this tiny slice of people that have gotten way too fired up about this Trump thing for the wrong reasons. I’m talking about those people where as soon as Trump won, they were like, ‘We don’t have to pretend like we’re not racist anymore.'”

Related: 10 Worst Celebrity Reactions to Trump’s Inauguration

Ansari added, “I think Trump should make a speech, a real speech, denouncing the lowercase KKK. Don’t tweet about me being lame … Write a speech. A real speech, because these people are out there and it’s pissing a lot of people off. I think it could make a difference. Other presidents have done this and it has helped. Hate crimes went down.”

Maybe give the guy a minute to unpack.

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