'SNL' Highlights Trump’s Good Week & Lays Out How Bad It *Could* Have Been
Saturday Night Live may have shied away from politics during their cold open this week thanks to Mother's Day, but political jokes still made Saturday's show. On SNL's Weekend Update, Trump was fair game, and co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che didn't hold back. They took on the president's "good week," and their jokes laid out how much worse they think it could have been.
Jost started with what was billed by Trump as the highlight of the week — the return of American prisoners from North Korea — and acknowledged that it had been a good moment for the president. As the joke shows, it could have been pretty awful. Jost said:
I’ve got to admit, President Trump had a pretty good week. He helped secure the release of American prisoners from North Korea, and when he greeted them at the airport, he didn’t even say, "Wait, I thought they were Americans."
The return of Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak-song, and Kim Sang Duk in the middle of the night was aired live on cable news, and the president went to greet them at Joint Base Andrews for a photo-op with reporters. Jost picked on this, too. "Trump bragged that him greeting the prisoners was probably the highest ever television ratings for 3 o’clock in the morning," Jost said. "Which is not true — the 3 a.m. ratings record was set on election night, by liberals hoping they were being pranked."
Che joked that the quiet nature of the week could in itself be a bad sign, comparing it to when he babysits. "I don't like when Trump is this quiet," Che said. "It's like when I'm babysitting my nephew and he's quiet for too long, and I'm like, 'Oh, no, he's eating out that litter box again.'"
Jost then addressed the president's recent attacks on the Russia investigation. Trump said that he's being accused of a "made-up phony crime." Jost compared that to Trump's rhetoric on immigration:
Oh, the crime you're accused of, that one's made up? It's funny how when it comes to immigration, Trump is like, "The law is the law." But when it comes to himself, he's like, "Laws aren't real. They're just stories we make up to scare poor people."
Che then took aim at Trump's decision to back out of the Iran nuclear deal too. Trump announced the move, which was condemned by European allies, on Tuesday. Trump did not make the argument that Iran had cheated or developed nuclear weapons — just that it was a bad deal. Che addressed why Trump might think that is.
“Look, I’m not going to pretend I know anything about the Iran deal," Che said. "But Trump is. And you know the only part of that deal Trump has read was the signature on bottom that said Barack Obama. That’s all he needed. Trump is undoing so much of Obama’s work that Obama is going to start fading away in pictures like Back to the Future.”
The other members of Trump's inner circle didn't escape the Weekend Update jokes. Trump's personal lawyer — or not — Michael Cohen was teased for the name of the consulting firm he set up to make the Stormy Daniels' payment and book consulting fees for access to the White House. Jost said Essential Consulting, LLC, sounded so fake that Seinfeld's George Costanza would pretend to work there.
Che went after first lady Melania Trump for her new "Be Best" initiative against cyber bullying. "As in, 'It would be best if you got a divorce,'" Che said.
It might have been a good week for Trump, but that didn't keep Weekend Update from telling jokes at the president's expense.