We give Saturday Night Live a hard time for its political stunt casting of late—we grew tired of Alec Baldwin’s torpid Trump impression about halfway through its first appearance—but sometimes it works spectacularly. Melissa McCarthy’s first Sean Spicer performance is a pretty good example.
Until last night the show didn’t really know what to do with one of the most odious satellites of the Trump trash system. SNL used to portray Steve Bannon, the former Trump adviser who took a circuitous route from banking to Hollywood to the right-wing bullshit factory known as Breitbart.com, as the literal grim reaper—full-on Skeletor in a black hood. It was funny sight gag the first time but it simultaneously overestimated the banality of Bannon’s too-familiar type of evil while reflecting too positive a light on the rest of the Trump administration—these fools might be transparently greedy boobs, but this guy is for real evil, the impression basically argued. It was never particularly clever, and after the first initial surprise, it was no longer funny, either.
That changed last night with the show’s most enjoyable political impression since McCarthy’s Spicer. And once again its success depended almost entirely on the performer, a certain guy you might’ve heard of named Bill Murray. The almost original Not Ready for Prime Time Player made one of his periodic returns last night, sharing the fake Joe Scarborough stage with Fred Armisen as the author of the Trump exposé Fire and Fury. The jokes aren’t the strongest, but Murray doing his sarcastic, insincere bluster is usually always funny, especially when he’s made up like “death warmed over” with Geraldine Ferraro hair.
Check it out above and find more from last night’s SNL on YouTube.