Posted on Sunday, February 12th, 2017 by Ethan Anderton
Alec Baldwin hosted Saturday Night Live for the 17th time this weekend, setting a record for hosting the most times, even more than Steve Martin. There was a lot of hype for this episode, mainly because people thought SNL would really tear into Donald Trump’s administration even more than they have been recently. The late night sketch series didn’t really do anything out of the ordinary to react to the hype, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great show.
Even though Rosie O’Donnell wasn’t brought in as Steve Bannon, as many hoped she would, Melissa McCarthy returned as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and Kate McKinnon added another political impression to her growing roster as well. Of course, Alec Baldwin reprised his role as Donald Trump, but another cast member also played the president in another fantastic sketch as well. You’ll see what I mean in our recap of the best and worst sketches from last night’s show.
Sean Spicer Press Conference – Last week’s debut appearance of Melissa McCarthy as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer went viral and ruffled plenty of feathers in Washington DC, so it should come as no surprise that she came back for another round this week. What is surprising is that the writers at SNL were able to craft a sketch that was just as good as the original. It has all the charms of a recurring presidential parody, but Melissa McCarthy brings an amazing level of energy and commitment to the character that never wavers. Plus, the gag with the podium was even funnier this week, and that leafblower bit was great physical comedy too. Then we also got to see Kate McKinnon as Jeff Sessions, like a political Foghorn Leghorn, and it was all just so fantastic.
Jake Tapper – As funny as the new Sean Spicer sketch was, I had a hard time choosing between that one and this one. This is a pitch perfect parody of Fatal Attraction, and Kate McKinnon does an incredible job of staying in character as her dead-eyed impression of Kellyanne Conway, but also doing some real acting along with it. This is outstanding sketch comedy.
Russell Stover – The recent Kristen Stewart episode of SNL featured a great spoof of Totino’s pizza snacks, and this week we get this Valentine’s Day treasure. Just the idea of a Russell Stover collection of Black History Month chocolates is funny by itself, but the way it plays out in this advertisement, especially when they assign flavors to the various figures, makes it that much better. The inclusion of a Bill Clinton chocolate is a nice touch too.
Leslie Wants to Play Trump – If Donald Trump, Sean Spicer and the White House were upset about Melissa McCarthy’s political sketch, then I would love to hear what they have to say about this. Leslie Jones earnestly trying to play Donald Trump on SNL is hilarious, but making it even more funny is the fact that it plays as a sequel to the “Love and Leslie” sketch from Dave Chappelle’s episode last fall. The fact that this sketch was played so serious is what makes it work, not to mention having Leslie Jones freak out on Lorne Michaels while being self-aware about her usual character portrayals.