Saturday Night Live kicked off its Christmas episode with another cold open centered on President-elect Donald Trump, with Alec Baldwin returning as the president-elect. A bare-chested Vladimir Putin (Beck Bennett) flew down Trump's chimney bare-chested, got buddy-buddy with future Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (played by national treasure John Goodman, looking very slim and trim), and told Donald all he'd wanted for Christmas was him.
Despite or perhaps because the only Trump supporter still watching SNL is Donald Trump himself, the show served up almost a full hour of Trump-bashing glazed under a thin veneer of holiday cheer. The best example of this was when the show parodied the sappy 2003 hit Love Actuallyby having Hillary Clinton (Kate McKinnon) show up on an elector's doorstep to silently plead with them to vote for anyone except Trump.
Musical guest Chance the Rapper and Leslie Jones also rapped about enjoying the last Christmas under Obama, before the Trump era gets underway.
With Armisen, Baldwin and Goodman all making cameos throughout the night, it was almost as if the show were throwing as much comedic ballast our way as it could to counter comedy lightweight Casey Affleck. Affleck is a commanding and committed dramatic actor with a movie to promote and a new beard to spice things up, but even he seemed puzzled about what he was doing onstage through most of the night, resigned to playing baffled bearded men, working-class Bostonites, or some combination thereof.
For actual honest laughter, SNL continued to lean hard on McKinnon, who — in addition to resurrecting her Hillary impression — inarguably won the night by bringing back her salty conspiracy-theorist character, who colorfully described her run-in with the lesser-known, goat-hooved Christmas Spirit "Krumpelmas."
Here's hoping NBC awards McKinnon a hefty Christmas bonus this year. She's certainly earned it as the MVP and brightest spot of SNL's 2016 run.
SNL will return live on January 14, 2017, with Felicity Jones hosting and musical guest Sturgill Simpson.