“January 6th was one of the most dramatic and consequential moments in our nation’s history,” proclaimed Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) as portrayed tonight on Saturday Night Live again by Kenan Thompson. “So, to fight back, we assembled a team of monotone nerds to do a PowerPoint,” the longtime cast member added as fellow SNLers played Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and soon-to-be departing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the latter in the form of Heidi Gardner.
Yep, with double duty by Megan Thee Stallion as host and musical guest, the third episode of SNL’s 48th season kicked off with the January 6th The Select Committee’s unanimous October 13 vote to subpoena Donald Trump. Of course, even with the wide spectrum of opinions about the effectiveness of the congressional panel’s multiple primetime and otherwise televised hearings over the past few months to make the case and tighten the legal vice on one-time SNL cough trump, SNL couldn’t resist undercutting its own caricature with the promise of “a little treat,” as held up by Thompson played by another Thompson.
“Aww, c’mon, can’t I have one cupcake now,” whined Illinois GOP congressman Adam Kinzinger, brought to life here by Andrew Dismukes. A “big Dick Cheney energy” joke from Gardner as the ex-VP’s daughter echoing a real-life recent comment from Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake on Trump held some promise for the skit. Unfortunately, not every indication of hope is a prayer answered, if you know what I mean?
Circling around the explosive video from that terrible day in early 2021 that was unveiled at this week’s final January 6th Committee hearing until next month’s midterms, a “Door Dash” jab at now Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (Sarah Sherman) of New York and California’s finest House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Chloe Fineman) missed the mark in trying to thread the comedy needle. The fact is the work of the Select Committee to investigate the violent MAGA insurrection of last year and literally save American democracy has become even more vital in recent weeks, making ripping at the shortcomings of its execution simply just too soon – as you can see above .
“You know the votes don’t matter,” raged Trump (James Austin Johnson) while seated in the bathroom of the White House. “I’ve always said that the votes don’t matter at all,” SNL’s Trump went on, name-dropping Rocky’s Apollo Creed as if the character was a real person and pal, Obamacare, and his own VP Mike “Dead Yet” Pence. “Because what even is the vote? It’s just a piece of paper you fold up.”
A week after Herschel Walker’s haywire personal life and Georgia Senate seat bid was mocked as part of SNL’s last cold open, and a day after the fake-badge-flashing candidate’s bizarre real-life debate with incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock rendered satire almost DOA, SNL tonight seemed lost in the current events it traditionally puts under the knife in its cold open.
“We tried, it was a fun country while it lasted,” lamented Kenan Thompson’s Thompson with little humor on the “empty gesture” of the subpoena vote. A vote that Trump in reality and on SNL has no intention of complying with as he moves towards a 2024 POTUS bid.
DC politics aside, today was the third appearance by Megan Thee Stallion on the long-running NBC late-nighter, but the chart topper’s debut as host. All of which lands here now in the somewhat elite club of 40 performers who have held both the frontperson and musical guest roles on SNL simultaneously. Of that rarified group of nearly four dozen spanning the past nearly five decades, JLo, Justin Timberlake, Drake, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Garth Brooks and Paul Simon have all served as host and musical guests at least twice, with the “Mrs. Robinson” songwriter holding the top spot as a four-time participant. Here’s some more math: Simon has been the musical guest on SNL eight times including as the opener in the show’s first post-9/11 episode, and made six cameos over the decades, one of which was pre-recorded.
It was announced tonight that Jack Harrow would take on the host and musical guest double gig on the October 29th airing of SNL.