'SNL' Summer Edition: Alec Baldwin’s Trump played the victim

Ken Tucker
Critic-at-Large, Yahoo Entertainment

At this point, I’d entertain an argument for President Trump’s impeachment if Alec Baldwin promised never to impersonate him again. Baldwin returned to the SNL family for the opening moments of Thursday night’s Weekend Update: Summer Edition. As usual, you could have written the sketch yourself: Eclipse joke (Baldwin entered wearing shades); Charlottesville (Baldwin/Trump made the studio audience laugh at a death by joking that the awful event had “a tragic victim: me”), and a farewell to SNL’s version of Steve Bannonn — whoever occupied that Grim Reaper costume (Bannon to Trump: “You’ve only made me more powerful”). Only Keenan Thompson — playing the Blacks For Trump guy, Michael Symonette — was amusing, holding up nonsensical placards that read “Blacks for Whites” and “Cash for Gold.”

As you can see, this was no complex satire in the manner of Tina Fey’s exceptional sheet-cake moment last week. Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che ran through the week’s headlines, and the only time I snickered was when Che took it upon himself to speak for “black people everywhere” in distancing himself from the Blacks for Trump guy. But the best moment was not political at all: It was Alex Moffat’s portrayal of MMA fighter Conor McGregor, soon to fight Floyd Mayweather in a bout whose hype we seem to have been enduring for the past year.

Doing a solid Irish accent, Moffat delivered some well-written lines, such as: “I’m going to drive Mayweather out of the ring the same way St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland: piss drunk while screaming something about Jesus.” This performance almost made me wish there was a regular season of SNL currently airing. Almost.

SNL: Weekend Update Primetime Edition airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

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