‘Saturday Night Live’ Parodies ‘The Bachelor’ With Another Kind of Breakup
Posted March 11, 2018 3:27 p.m. EDT
In a memorable comic turn Saturday night, President Donald Trump performed an impression of himself if he had been a conventional, strait-laced head of state; he hurled an obscenity at Chuck Todd, host of “Meet the Press”; and he boasted that he knew what Oprah Winfrey’s weakness was. But enough about the president’s rally in western Pennsylvania.
Forced to compete with this kind of reality — and minus the services of its resident Trump impersonator, Alec Baldwin — “Saturday Night Live” took some unusual cultural detours to arrive at its topical satire this weekend, in an episode hosted by Sterling K. Brown and featuring musical guest James Bay.
The show’s opening sketch seemed to promise a parody of the season finale of “The Bachelor,” the ABC reality series, from earlier this week, in which Arie Luyendyk Jr. first chose Becca Kufrin as his bride-to-be, then broke up with her and proposed to another contestant, Lauren Burnham. (As a consolation prize of sorts, Kufrin was named the star of “The Bachelorette” for a new season later this spring.)
Playing a “Bachelor” contestant named Becca K., “SNL” cast member Cecily Strong told the cameras, “The past few months have been such a whirlwind, but I finally feel like I’m in a place where I can see the future so clearly. I just want to get to the point where this is all over and life goes back to normal. I’m excited to see him.”
Enter special counsel Robert Mueller, played by Kate McKinnon in jowly prosthetic makeup. “How do I start this conversation?” she asked Strong.
Haltingly, McKinnon added: “The reality is that, I don’t think that I can give you everything that you want right now. And I think that you sense that.”
Strong asked her, “So, what, you don’t have Trump on collusion?”
McKinnon replied, “I think I need to explore the possibility that I might have a stronger case with some other stuff.” She added: “I can’t commit to collusion right now.”
The awkward breakup continued in a split-screen presentation (similar to the “Bachelor” finale), with Strong repeatedly leaving the room to calm herself down, only to return even more upset each time.
“So I have to wait two more years for him to be out of office?” she asked.
McKinnon answered, “Honestly, probably six.”
Strong asked, “So Stormy Daniels, that’s nothing?”
McKinnon responded, “No, I mean that’s definitely fun, it’s just, like, not what I’m doing.”
In other highlights from the episode:
— ‘Weekend Update’ Riffs of the Week
Co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che collaborated on a run of jokes responding to the news that Trump plans to hold talks with North Korea in the spring.
Jost opened the segment by saying: “In a stunning turn of events, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has agreed to meet in May with Donald Trump, or whoever’s president in May. Trump would be the first sitting U.S. president to meet with the leader of North Korea, and it’s also going to be the first time where both translators start every sentence with, ‘OK, so what I think he said was — ‘ ”
Che continued: “Experts warn that the talks between Trump and Kim Jong Un could be risky, because, well, duh. Best-case scenario, they’ll realize they’re both crazy and become best friends like that movie ‘Step Brothers.’ But more than likely, Donald Trump is going to realize that he’s just Twitter-crazy, and Kim Jong Un is crazy-crazy. And there’s a big ol’ difference. One guy trolls Oprah online, and the other guy murdered his uncle with a cannon.”
— ‘Weekend Update’ Deskside Bit of the Week
Mikey Day and Alex Moffat reprised their roles as Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, attempting to paper over the difficulties that their father’s presidency has recently encountered. Asked by Jost if the White House was in chaos, Day answered, “I know it’s played out, Colin, but fake news. You know, our father has a little nickname for you members of the elitist liberal media — “
“Goddamn Jews,” Moffat interjected excitedly before being admonished by Day.
Later in the segment, Moffat was startled and then delighted by a pop-up book.
— Commercial Parody of the Week
Even if you’re not watching NBC’s popular cry-fest “This Is Us” — it has more than 10 million live viewers a week, you know — you can still appreciate the “SNL” sendup “This Is U.S.,” a somewhat similar melodrama featuring members of the Trump administration, including Ben Carson (Brown), Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Aidy Bryant), Jared Kushner (Pete Davidson) and Kellyanne Conway (McKinnon).
As a fake review from Entertainment Weekly promises, “You’ll be laughing through tears, except without the laughing. So I guess just regular crying.”
— Helpful Oscars Recap of the Week
If you’ve already forgotten the results of the Academy Awards, which feel like they occurred either last weekend or several months ago, “SNL” offered a refresher in the form of a “Celebrity Family Feud” parody pitting Oscar winners against Oscar losers. It was basically an excuse for cast members to perform impressions of stars like Frances McDormand (McKinnon), Guillermo del Toro (Beck Bennett), Allison Janney (Heidi Gardner), Jordan Peele (Chris Redd), Sally Hawkins (Melissa Villaseñor) and Timothée Chalamet (Davidson).
In a playfully meta moment, Kenan Thompson, playing host Steve Harvey, told Redd that he was a big fan of “Key & Peele,” Peele’s show with Keegan-Michael Key from 2012 to 2015.
Redd answered, “Well, sketch comedy is great, but at some point you have to move on, you know?”
Thompson, who has been on “Saturday Night Live” since 2003, took a moment to respond. “You do?” he asked.
Redd replied, “Yeah, after a few years, you’ve just got to do something more artistic.”
Seeming to slip out of character, Thompson asked, “How many years?”