Alec Baldwin’s President Trump returned to “Saturday Night Live” Saturday to stew in the latest news from Robert Mueller’s investigation from a balcony in Argentina, the kind of place Evita Peron used to hang out.
“SNL” has wisely cut back on Baldwin’s Trump appearances, which often had become little more than mimickings of zany real-world events. Saturday’s presidential cold opener was the first visit in more than a month.
With former Trump crony Michael Cohen’s guilty plea this week, the revelation of Trump’s pursuit of a Moscow tower deal deep into the 2016 election and Russian president Vladimir Putin’s very-friendly handshake with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 meeting of world leaders in Argentina, including Trump, there was plenty of new material to mine.
If that wasn’t enough, Baldwin, in character as Trump, even alluded to his own recent arrest after a dispute over a parking space: “God, I haven’t been this upset since I flipped out over that parking space.”
The Argentina setting provided a backdrop for the “SNL” Donald Trump players, a collection of series regulars and guest stars who portray members of the president’s inner circle.
Trump first commiserates with wife Melania (Cecily Strong), as he misinterprets his nightmare of “a forest of blood.” “No, that was just my Christmas decorations,” his wife explains, referring to her much criticized White House holiday decor.
Trump then conveys his fears about the Mueller investigation, with Melania laying out the worst-case scenario — her husband would go to jail and have to entrust his fortune to her — at least for him.
She appeared to grow increasingly fond of that idea.”I’m going to go think about that worst case while I soak in the bathtub,” she says while departing.
Kate McKinnon once again showed her amazing versatility, depicting Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani as a vampire even creepier than your standard-issue Dracula: “I was hanging upside down under the balcony,” she says, closing the appearance, one of the sketch’s weaker ones in terms of content, by displaying bat wings.
Ben Stiller made another appearance as a sheepish Cohen.
“You were like a son to me,” Trump tells Cohen in a phone conversation. “Then, why’d you make me do so much illegal stuff,” Cohen asks. “Because you were like a son to me,” Trump responds.
Later, shirtless Russian President Vladimir Putin (Beck Bennett) enters the balcony from Trump’s presidential suite joined by the Saudi prince (Fred Armisen), with the two joking about the prince’s complicity in the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (The CIA reportedly has concluded that bin Salman ordered the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The president has taken a softer stance, mentioning the prince’s denials and concluding “maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”)
Putin and the prince show off their budding bromance, to the president’s dismay, and conclude with Beck and Armisen pulling off a pretty complex handshake.
A melancholy Trump closes the sketch by going full “Evita” with an adjusted version of “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina.”
“Don’t cry for me, Argentina/The truth is/I’m very guilty/Some little no-nos/And maybe treason/But I kept my promise/Oops, no I didn’t,” he sings.
The other characters then join in, with Stiller’s Cohen singing/complaining, “It’s just a witchhunt,” and the chorus responding, “And we’re all witches.”
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