ShareThis Page

New season of 'SNL' roars back by mocking Donald Trump early

| Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, 11:00 a.m.

NEW YORK — The new season of “Saturday Night Live” wasted no time getting topical — or mocking Donald Trump — with an opening sketch that featured Alec Baldwin skewering the president for his response to the hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico, threatening Attorney General Jeff Sessions' job and mentioning his stand-off with the NFL.

“It's all part of the plan. The more chaos I cause, the less people can focus,” Baldwin joked as Trump, wearing golf clothes in the Oval Office. “Let's keep the chaos coming.”

In the sketch, Baldwin's Trump was unclear that Puerto Rico was an American territory, hung up on the mayor of San Juan, put Sessions playfully on his lap and admitted he liked football. “People say I remind them of an NFL player because I'm combative, I like to win and I might have a degenerative brain disease,” Baldwin said. His Trump said he rewards loyalty but then ends the sketch palling around with U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer.

Trump was also a target on the show's “Weekend Update,” with Colin Jost pointing out that hip-hop artist Pitbull was sending a private plane to help victims in Puerto Rico. “How is the president of the United States worse at humanitarian aid than Pitbull?”

Michael Che also got into the act: “This isn't that complicated, man. It's hurricane relief. These people need help. You just did this for white people twice. Do the same thing. Tell Melania to put on her flood heels.”

Musical guest Jay-Z had his own political statement when he wore Colin Kaepernick's jersey number, a nod to the football player's decision to kneel during “The Star-Spangled Banner” last season. Those were the only topical moments.

The comedy show hopes to build off one of its most-watched seasons in more than two decades thanks to Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy's appearance as former White House press secretary Sean Spicer. Both actors recently won Emmys for their work, as did Kate McKinnon, who played Hillary Clinton on the show, and on Saturday played Sessions and Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany.

Ryan Gosling was the host and in his opening monologue, which Emma Stone joined, made fun of himself as the guy “who saved jazz,” riffing off his role in “La La Land.” Gosling featured in some bizarre sketches, including romancing a chicken, overreacting to a restaurant menu switch, playing a flute player in a bar and a man obsessed with the font on the “Avatar” poster.

In the offseason, “Saturday Night Live” saw the departure of cast members Vanessa Bayer, Bobby Moynihan and Sasheer Zamata. Those remaining also include Cecily Strong, Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kyle Mooney, Leslie Jones and Kenan Thompson.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.