This weekend, Chance the Rapper pulled double duty as host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live, but as has become custom for the show at this point, the episode started with a cold open featuring — who else? — Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump. There was a time when the actor insisted he didn't want to impersonate Trump anymore, but his pursed-lip, finger-waggling game of lampooning POTUS 45 is still going strong in Season 45. He might as well be a regular cast member at this point.
This time, the segment was a mockery of Trump's campaign rallies, with the bewigged Baldwin harping on some of his wildest anti-impeachment sentiments — a highlight being his "no quid bro code" insistence becoming the new "no collusion." Baldwin also snuck in a major dig of Trump's hilarious geographical confusion of Colorado and a border state, and he riffed on the draw-down in Syria which has allowed several members of ISIS to escape, with a little help from Pete Davidson as a former detainee who came to thank Trump for bringing back jobs — to ISIS members, at least.
The segment also featured a few more memorable impressions, including Kate McKinnon as a sycophantic Senator Lindsey Graham and Alex Moffat as an extra robotic version of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The kicker was the return of Darrell Hammond reprising his role as Bill Clinton to empathize with Trump's impeachment.
The latest cold open, like many before it, didn't add much to the political conversation, but perhaps the very fact that such a winding and ranty segment seems relatively normal nowadays makes the point without the writers having to stretch.
SNL's political punning didn't end there, of course.
The latest "Weekend Update" segment brought Moffat and Mikey Day along to portray Trump's eldest sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr. as the two argued that their ability to profit from their father's presidency is different than anything their father's accusing Joe and Hunter Biden of right now. (To clarify, only one of them argued as much; the other played with a pin toy meant to distract him from revealing anything even more damaging.)
"All the lies, witch hunts, and impeachments in the world won't help the dems' chances in this 2020 election," Day's Don Jr. said in the clip. "The Trumps are here to stay."
Mercifully, not every segment revolved around the battiness afoot in Washington. Chance the Rapper used his opening monologue to highlight some of the more positive things that are happening in this country — including his own philanthropic pursuits and those that are fighting for a better tomorrow. Chance, who donated $1 million to Chicago public schools in 2017, began his SNL stint with a show of support for the teachers' strike and a rap about how much he loves the second-best things to honor the "Second City."
Chance also helped to celebrate the Halloween season with a musical skit featuring graveyard ghosts telling the stories of how they died. His own character was reluctant to share the details of his own demise, eventually revealed in sing-song format, "At 12 years old I sat on a 9 volt, it gave my hiney a quick little jolt. I liked how it felt so I did it a lot, but I built up a tolerance to lower watts. And then I realized there's no higher vol than the one that comes from a lightning bolt. So one stormy night I went to my roof and I put a melt rod in ..." You can see where this is going.
Other highlights of Chance's hosting turn include his turn as as a kid who uses Tasty Toaster Tarts to distract all his friends from the fact that he's obviously murdered his parents and as "Judge Barry," a TV small claims court judge who makes rulings based on first impressions. The latter segment also featured Jason Momoa making a surprise cameo as a gigolo who stole a few key items from an elderly client, including a pair of swinging earrings that he was proud to wear as nipple tassels. What a world!
Saturday Night Live airs live at 11:30/10:30c on NBC.