Update, 3:27 pm Michael Che’s Weekend Update “Cheap Cracker” segment taking to task Donald Trump for the president’s dismal response to the disaster in Puerto Rico is gaining traction as the most talked-about moment of the episode. The Washington Post is calling it “SNL’s Kanye West moment.” Joy Reid said Che was “pretty much winning” the episode, and Joe Walsh, the right-wing radio host and occasional cable news talking head, tweeted that Che’s comment was akin to calling Barack Obama the N-word (only Walsh actually used the N-word; cable news bookers, take note).
“This isn’t that complicated, man,” Che said during the Update segment, addressing Trump. “It’s hurricane relief and people need help. You just did this for white people — twice. Do the same thing: Go tell Melania to put on her flood heels, get some bottled water, some food, pack up some extra Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl T-shirts, and write them a check with our money, you cheap cracker!”
The moment seems especially powerful because the laconic Che drops his usual cool and shows, for a quick second, some righteous anger. Trump touched a nerve, and now Che is doing the same.
Watch Che’s segment above, at about the 1:47 mark.
Previous Saturday Night Live made yet another fine casting choice last night, though it had nothing to do with political doppelgangers (though there was plenty of that too). Lorne Michael’s wisest move of the just-beginning season 43 was hiring the ever convivial – if way too giggly – Ryan Gosling as its first host. With Blade Runner 2049 about to drop, the heat-seeking Gosling was an obvious catch, and his ease on the SNL stage guided the cast-shaken series through any first-night jitters.
Ok, so maybe a little too much ease, with all of Gosling’s character-breaking laughing, but no big harm and not too much foul there.
Gosling’s monologue was all about “saving jazz,” an ode to La La Land that also mashed in elements of Blade Runner, a fake Harrison Ford anecdote, some piano noodling and, finally, a surprise appearance by La La co-star Emma Stone.
Watch the monologue here:
Gosling also appeared in two of the episode’s digital shorts, including the so-so “Levi’s Wokes,” a commercial parody of gender non-conforming, style-neutral and generally hideous jeans, pockets sold separately (“Who said I have hands?”). The all-cast endeavor had a few good moments (Leslie Jones: “What’s my size? Why don’t you ask me about my accomplishments?”) but the trigger-warning comedy about the Safe Space Generation arrives maybe a year too late.
Here it is:
Much better – and infinitely weirder – was Gosling’s tour de lunacy “Papyrus,” one of those late-in-show pre-taped bits too bizarre for the pre-midnight stretch.
In this one, Gosling plays a man driven mad by James Cameron’s Avatar, specifically the film’s use of the “papyrus” font for its titling. “He just highlighted ‘avatar,’ he clicked the drop-down menu and he just randomly selected papyrus, like a, like a thoughtless child just wandering by a garden, yanking leaves along the way.” The prospect of sequels has him totally undone.
Gosling sells this one perfectly, right down the line. You’ll never look at – or overlook – that tribal-meets-futuristic font again.
Gosling also had some fun with Weekend Update, appearing as the obnoxious, Soho House-going cousin to Alex Moffatt’s slimeball “Guy Who Just Bought a Boat” character. Usually, at least for me, these Unnamed Characters Who Need Explanations wear thin before you get to the end of their exposition, but Moffatt nails this one every time, and last night he the perfect wingman in Gosling – whose resemblance to Bradley Cooper might or might not have been intentional. Judge for yourself:
Weekend Update’s big winner last night, though, was Kate McKinnon’s Angela Merkel, still pining for Barack Obama, still loathing Donald Trump and now newly lustful for that hunky French arriviste leader.
Watch her at about the 5-minute mark of the first Weekend Update clip above. On your way there, give a listen to some fine comedy by anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che about hurricanes, the National Anthem and that lunatic Trump moment when the president of the United States explains what an island is.