Saturday Night Live last night dusted off Dana Carvey and his classic Church Lady, with a big assist from former cast member Darrell Hammond, to assess last week’s developments in the presidential race. He said with the exit of Texas Senator Ted Cruz from the race, it’ll be a “presidential matchup between a godless liberal democrat, and Hillary Clinton.” After dissecting the Met Gala (“where strumpets, street walkers and sluts get to parade around in the latest genital fashions,” the church marm zeroed in on Madonna and a costume that bared her posterior. “Her fanny is just hanging out with the dirty straps that pushed those six decade old buns straight to heaven.”
Then she got to what became the central focus of several skits in the Brie Larson-hosted show, and that was to bash the Republicans to the point it left no doubt as to the left leanings of the show writers. Ted Cruz (Taran Killam) came out and morphed into Satan, giving way to Hammond’s Trump, hailed by the Church Lady as the Tangerine Tornado. He claimed to be a Bible thumper, adding that his motto was “keep the Sabbath huge” and that the resurrection of Jon Snow was one of his favorite Bible passages. Hammond was a central part of another generation’s SNL cast, but he came back to replace Don Pardo as show announcer and his Trump impression is so unbeatable maybe he should be announcing himself as a cast member again, because with Trump’s nomination he’s sure to be a fixture going into the fall season.
A commercial parody of a Hillary Clinton doll, and the unwillingness of young girls to play with her because she was uninteresting, was the lone knock on Clinton. Cruz was on the receiving end of abuse in Weekend Update, as well as a skit later in the broadcast, a futuristic game show where no one could remember his name. Trump got his share of scorn, with his candidacy being likened to the pending evil of a Star Wars movie, Episode VIII: The Orange Menace.
There was another semi-humorous Game of Thrones skit, in which skeptical cast members got bored with the slow pace of things as fallen Night’s Watch commander Jon Snow lay on a slab after being done in by his own mates, and it was so clear that he was going to be brought back to life despite admonitions to the contrary.
Larson, who won an Oscar for Room that probably few in the room of SNL audience members saw, was charming in her hosting debut. As it has been all season, the skits were hit or miss with a lot in the latter category. Same with the fake newscast, where several castmembers trotted out characters. The only memorable one was Vanessa Bayer, whose child actress character Laura Parsons comes out to read news with Michael Che, and then delves into cringeworthy topics (STDs, the KKK) there is no reason to imagine she would understand or bring up.