In a razzle-dazzle pinnacle of last night’s Saturday Night Live, Kate McKinnon took her Kellyanne Conway impression to glittery new heights, reimagining the Trump spokeswoman as the star (in her own mind) of a Bob Fosse-style musical that wows with a “Roxie”-type showstopper (lifted from Rob Marshall’s film of Chicago, as some astute Deadline readers have noted). McKinnon will want to reserve some space for this one on her next Emmy reel.
The pre-taped short begins with Conway doing her usual explain & defend drudgery for CNN’s Jake Tapper (Beck Bennett). “Oh my god,” a weary Tapper says, “how do you do this? Come on here every single day and do this? What do you get out of this?”
With that, McKinnon’s Conway daydreams her honest answer – and it’s all about fame, lights, song, dance and tuxedoed men.
Even during the “real” Tapper portions of the sketch, McKinnon has really sharpened her Conway, scrubbing the performance of its “what did I do to deserve this” undertone that never really fit the ambitious strategizer.
McKinnon’s new and improved Conway knows exactly what she deserves, or at least what she wants: A starring role, and now she’s landed it with one of SNL‘s stand-out moments of the season.
Aside from Alec Baldwin’s show-stealing, attention grabbing appearances as Donald Trump, recent SNLs have been at their best with the clever, dark, tightly written and well-performed digital shorts. In addition to “Kellyanne Conway,” last night’s offerings included “Five Stars,” with host Aziz Ansari as an Uber passenger and Bobby Moynihan as his driver, each hoping to score a five-star rating from the other.
With interior monologues akin to first-date jitters, driver and passenger nervously maneuver the space between New York indifference and human empathy. And if you’ve seen the Black Mirror episode “Nosedive,” all the better.
Take a look: