‘SNL’ spoofs the final debate and Adele sings (a little)
By Dave Itzkoff
Adele hosted “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, and to answer your most pressing question: Yes, she did sing, briefly, though H.E.R. was officially the musical guest. But first, there was a parody of Thursday’s second and final presidential debate to get through.
The debate sketch, which opened the show, began with Maya Rudolph, its resident Kamala Harris impersonator, this time playing moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News.
She explained, “Tonight we have a mute button, because it was either that or tranquilizer darts, and the president has a very high tolerance for those after his COVID treatment.”
Onto the stage came Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump and Jim Carrey as Joe Biden. “How’s this mute button work?” Carrey asked. “Do I just haul off and slap him in the mouth?”
Rudolph replied, “It’s not connected to anything, but I will push it.”
Baldwin, who was given an introductory question about managing the coronavirus crisis, responded, “What a nice question, thank you, Hoda. Can I just say you’re really doing a great job?” He added, “No, really, you’re taking really good care of us tonight. Now could you just tell us about the special, please?”
Baldwin repeated Trump’s now-familiar line that the country is “rounding the corner” on coronavirus. “In fact,” Baldwin said, “we’ve rounded so many corners, we’ve gone all the way around the block, and we’re back where we started in March.”
Indicating Carrey, Baldwin said, “If he was in charge, we’d all be in our basements, and that’s where the haunted Annabelle doll lives. A lot of people are saying that’s a very scary doll.” He added that “we can’t spend all day in the basement, because we’re all not rich like Joe, with all the money he got from China.”
Carrey responded, “Look at me. Do I look remotely rich? If I have money, where am I spending it? I live in Delaware. A night out is $28.” If he had an extra $3 million, Carrey said, “I’d be pulling up to the Capitol in a candy-red Trans Am with Kenny Loggins playing in the back. Not a recording — the real Kenny Loggins.”
Baldwin said he could not reveal his coronavirus response plan because it was under audit, adding, “If you don’t believe me, you can talk to my lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.”
The camera cut to Kate McKinnon as Giuliani, with her back to the audience, making an obscured but vigorous gesture. As she turned around, she revealed that she was rubbing her stomach. “It’s not what it looks like,” McKinnon said, adding, “Is this another ‘Borat’? You’ve got to tell me if it’s a ‘Borat.’”
Finally, the two candidates were asked what they would say to people who did not vote for them. Baldwin replied, “If they didn’t vote for me, I guess I’d say, ‘Hola.’”
Carrey said, “You know who he is, and you know who I am. I’m good ol’ Joe. I’m reliable as a rock. I’ve got a five-star safety rating, and I’m ranked best in midsize in my class by J.D. Power and Associates. I don’t have a golden toilet seat. I have a soft, spongy one that hisses whenever I park my keister.”
‘Bachelor’ parody of the week
In her opening monologue, Adele explained that she didn’t want to be both host and musical guest, saying that she would rather “just put on some wigs” and “have a glass of wine or six and just see what happens.” Nonetheless, “SNL” found a not-so-subtle way to get her to perform selections from a few of her best-known songs in this sendup of “The Bachelor,” which cast Adele as one of its contestants.
“I’m here because I’ve had a lot of heartbreak in my life,” she said at the start of the sketch, “first at 19; and then, sort of famously, at 21; and then even more famously at 25.”
Desperately vying for a bland romantic interest (Beck Bennett), Adele sang him excerpts from “When We Were Young,” “Hello” and “Rolling in the Deep,” then concluded with a spirited portion of “Someone Like You.” As the sketch ended, Adele said, “Catch me next week on ‘Love Island.’”
Political ad of the week
This filmed segment starts off like any number of other political commercials rotating endlessly in the run-up to Election Day, with the “SNL” cast members playing seemingly everyday Americans explaining why they’re voting for Biden and against Trump. But, these people explain, they’re also worried because, as Ego Nwodim asks, if Biden wins, “then what are we going to talk about?”
Pete Davidson adds, “The only thing I talked about for four years is Donald Trump.” Another voter, played by Melissa Villaseñor, says, “My entire personality is hating Donald Trump. If he’s gone, what am I supposed to do — focus on my kids again? No, thanks.”
Kenan Thompson says, “I am really worried for Rachel Maddow. Like, what is she even going to talk about?” (Following the commercial — paid for by the fictional Trump Addicts of America — the real-life Maddow tweeted, “I’ll be fine! I swear!”)
Weekend update jokes of the week
At the Weekend Update desk, anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che continued to riff on the final presidential debate.
Well, the final presidential debate took place on Thursday, and the actual CNN headline after was, “Trump Behaved More Like Regular Person.” That’s not a description of a president. It’s like a description of a robot from “Westworld.” This debate was so frustrating to watch. Did anyone else find themselves yelling lines at the screen that they wished Biden had said? Like when Trump talked about how good he’s been for the stock market, I was like, “Joe, the stock market when you were vice president went up four times higher than Trump’s stock market. You have the ball. You’re standing above the rim. Why will you not dunk it?” Or when Trump said that Biden is all talk and no action, why didn’t Biden just say, “Bitch, show us your taxes, show us the vaccine, show us the wall, and show us what prison you locked Hillary in”? Really, it was like Biden had an open field, running for a touchdown, and then this happened: [plays video of New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones tripping in Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles].
Trump claimed that he was the least racist person in the room, which is only something the most racist person in the room would say. You never hear Martin Luther King going, “I’m the least racist.” Nobody’s expecting you to be the least racist. I’d just settle for not-so-racist anymore. When you lie that big, it makes you look more guilty, like when my uncle told me he doesn’t get high anymore while he was holding my TV.
Questionable tourism ad of the week
We can’t say we endorse the fake ad, which rests on the uneasy premise that Adele, McKinnon and Heidi Gardner are women who have traveled to Africa in search of men who will help them get over their divorces. (That’s already elicited a fair share of discomfort on social media.)
But we include it here for the sake of completeness and for the sight of Adele repeatedly breaking character, which at least gives the sketch some moments of pleasant awkwardness.