“Saturday Night Live” returned from its hiatus this weekend — and the body of the show was up to the same old, same old.
Alec Baldwin returned to yet again impersonate the sitting president of the United States — all but guaranteeing the feud between the two men will not end anytime soon.
The opening sketch had Baldwin poking fun at Donald Trump’s White House and its various staff changes and controversies.
Baldwin’s Trump said during the cold open, “Last week I met with a group of teenage survivors of gun violence, and I want to assure them, once again, that, ‘I hear you. And I care'” — which the audience laughed at, naturally. He also said, “But it’s clear something has to change. We have to take a hard look at mental health — which I have so much of. I have one of the healthiest mentals.”
“I said I was going to run this country like a business,” Baldwin also said as Trump. “That business is a Waffle House at 2 a.m. — crazies everywhere, staff walking out in the middle of their shift, managers taking money out of the cash register to pay off the Russian mob. But maybe we do just take all the guns away … ”
While the Trump material was as predictable as one can imagine, “SNL” did take a surprising shot at Hollywood later on in the program — with a skit that satirized the entertainment industry and its Oscar ceremony on Sunday night.
Alex Moffat, Pete Davidson, Kenan Thompson, and others played actors at a mock awards show called “The Grabbies,” during which awards were given out in categories like the “handsiest actor” and “most open robe.”
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) March 4, 2018
The skit doesn’t totally make up for the show’s seriously worrisome left-wing bent — but it was a surprise to see, especially the night before the Academy Awards.
Host Jimmy Kimmel — who has just revealed that last year he was paid $15,000 for one mere night of hosting the Oscars — has already said he will put more focus on Trump than the sexual misconduct scandals that have come out of Hollywood. (Kimmel reportedly makes $15 million a year as the late-night host of his own TV program, by the way, according to a piece last fall from CNBC.)
It’s worth noting, by the way, that former NBA star Charles Barkley hosted “SNL” for the fourth time — and “for no reason,” he said.
During his monologue, he said pointedly, “I’ve been saying whatever the hell I want for 30 years, and I’m doing great,” he said, adding that this country has “had a great tradition” of athletes’ speaking their minds. But “some people don’t want to hear from professional athletes, like this lady on Fox News who told LeBron James to ‘shut up and dribble,'” he said — referring, of course, to Laura Ingraham, host of “The Ingraham Angle,” on Fox News, and co-founder of LifeZette. “Dribbling is, like, only the fourth thing [LeBron] is good at: shooting, passing, and magically making his hairline come back.”
Continued Barkley, “But the media does this stuff all the time … I got a message for people complaining about athletes. We can do a lot more than dribble. I’m a broadcaster, I wrote a book, and I even got my own wine … Athletes are the only ones speaking out in their communities.”
He was then cut off by Michael Che of “SNL.” “What about comedians? We speak out all the time.”
“Nobody takes you seriously,” said Barkley.