Eric and Donald Trump Jr. stepped from under their dad’s Saturday Night Live shadow last night – or at least their stinging SNL doppelgängers did. Usually relegated to the quiet sidelines of Alec Baldwin’s DJT sketches, the American Psycho-haired Trump boys, surgically carved by Mikey Day (as Donald Jr., the most Donald-like) and Alex Moffat (as a single-syllable simpleton Eric), arrived for a spot on “Weekend Update” and were ready to talk (or blurt, as the Trump may be).
“The only people making decisions regarding the Trump Organization are Eric and myself,” says Jr. with the slick-back hair. “And Dad,” interjects the child-like Eric while munching dry Cheerios and slurping from a juice box (after multiple efforts to get the straw in) – a portrayal that just might be the Real Donald’s best evidence in his crusade to prove SNL meanness.
Judge for yourself with the clip above. Mean or hilarious? Feel free to choose both. I did. Sad. Not sad.
Also on SNL last night, one of the better bits – a pre-taped segment called “Girl at a Bar.” Cecily Strong’s character sits at a bar waiting for a friend, gets hit on by a string guys who make good, politically correct first impressions only to go Neanderthal (though why should I pick on Neanderthals?) when they can’t get what they want. “Girl at a Bar” is essentially variations on a gag, but Strong and her line-up of male losers (Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, Day, a pink-hatted Moffat) do the sktech proud. Stick around for Aidy Bryant’s payoff.
Ah, another short film, another well-done single-joker: “Republican Movie Trailer.” Set in some not-too-distant utopia, the trailer previews the biopic of the heroic Republican who finally stood up to President Trump, saving the country with courage and compassion.
I won’t spoil the central joke, though you’ll catch on after a few seconds anyway. It’s an obvious one, but SNL sells it right down the line, with a fine West Wing reference at the end to boot.
And finally, here we witness a rare SNL opportunity for new player Melissa Villaseñor. Actually, she’s not all that new – she’s been on all season, along with last fall’s other arrivals Day and Moffat, but while the boys quickly sliced themselves big pieces of the late-night pie, Villaseñor’s most visible moments have been the weekly group hug curtain calls.
So it was nice to see her get a chance last night, doing what Lorne Michaels clearly thinks she does best: impressions.
The premise had Villaseñor, along with Moffat, Kenan Thompson and show host Spencer, auditioning for celebrity soundalike voice-over work for an upcoming animated film called Zoo-opolis. Moffat pulled out his Hugh Grant, Thompson his Tracy Morgan, and Spencer a fine quartet of Oprah Winfrey, Viola Davis, Judy Dench and Jodie Foster.
But the bit was clearly for Villaseñor’s benefit, as she reprised her Owen Wilson along with spot-on turns as Kristen Wiig, Kathy Griffin, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and, best surprise, castmate Kate McKinnon.
I’d bet my next cable bill that Villaseñor auditioned for SNL with at least some of these impressions, and they were – are – strong enough to at least buy some time while she hones her acting chops and cue-card skills. But the season’s closer to finale than premiere, and this type of custom-tailored sketch can’t elbow itself in every week. Villaseñor still has time, but Day and Moffat have a Trump-like lead in the race.