Saturday Night Live host John Mulaney, a former writer for the sketch comedy series, wasn't the only veteran at 30 Rock this week. The cold open included a major throwback from some of your comedy favorites. Not only did Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro play Michael Cohen and Robert Mueller on Saturday Night Live, but the Meet The Parents reunion reenacted the polygraph scene for the 2000 film.
The two of them aren't really connected to Mulaney in any way, but it's not too surprising to see these two on the NBC series. Stiller may have only been a featured cast member for a few short months in 1989, he has hosted twice and made multiple cameo appearances like this one. De Niro, on the other hand, has hosted three times.
Stiller and De Niro's sketch began with Beck Bennett and Kate McKinnon as Mike Pence and Jeff Sessions, respectively. The two of them sent Mueller into an interrogation room, where De Niro met him... and he met him, if you catch the drift. The questions are what you'd expect, covering Stormy Daniels and a certain tape. Then it gets silly.
“Directly," Stiller said about whether or not he directly threatened people on behalf of President Trump. "No. But let’s just say I’ve cut a lot of letters out of a lot of magazines… I’m just trying to milk some information out of people. So what?” Get it — milking? It's the thing from the thing. The sketch was basically worth it to hear De Niro say "can you milk me, Mr. Cohen," alone.
Here's De Niro's part of the sketch below.
"You're a lawyer," De Niro asks. "Ish," Stiller responds. Twitter made the connection and caught the reference to the Meet The Parents lie detector scene almost immediately. Here are some of the best reactions from social media:
It's impressive enough when Saturday Night Live pulls together political commentary in this ever-changing climate successfully. To make this reference and get these two stars on board is nothing short of a miracle.
Honestly, what won't they reboot?
Here's the original scene, for context. It's not like there is any particular physical resemblance between Stiller and Mueller or Cohen and De Niro. Twitter especially is often eager to "cast" the "future Trump movie," but this isn't a Tina Fey/Sarah Palin situation, where fans were calling out for it before it came to be. This sketch is really all about Meet The Parents.
Honestly, good point, and like... can we go back to the 2000s again? Some of them, at least, were pretty decent if memory serves.
Apparently they did! Meet The Parents was trending on Twitter.
De Niro's entrance, which Saturday Night Live also posted online, was mostly just clapping. The surprised paid off.
Of course, what Meet The Parents reunion is complete without a Little Fockers reference? This wasn't the edgiest political sketch that Saturday Night Live has done this season, and that's fine. Stiller's portrayal is poking fun at Mueller a bit, but there's not really a hidden meaning in the satire, it's just fun. Sometimes it's nice to laugh at a shared memory instead of tirelessly tearing apart current events that are absurd all on their own.. References and "reboots" like this one are a perfect way to comment.
But also, like, they have to come back — right? Meet The Parents has more than one sequel, so there's definitely the space for them to revive these characters on a future SNL. Maybe Barbra Streisand and Owen Wilson can join. News moves pretty fast, but Mueller's likely going to be in headlines for a little while longer, and an impression with references like this is too good to pass up.