About a half-hour into this weekend’s broadcast, “Saturday Night Live” would devote an entire sketch to a character with a dog’s head and neck attached to a human body. But first, the show addressed the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse.
In its opening segment, “S.N.L.” returned to the familiar format of a “Justice with Judge Jeanine” parody, with Cecily Strong playing the program’s vociferous host, Jeanine Pirro.
Reflecting on the highly charged Rittenhouse proceedings, Strong said, “That lovable scamp was put through a nightmare of a trial just for doing the bravest thing any American can do: protecting an empty used car lot in someone else’s town.”
She then introduced Mikey Day as Judge Bruce Schroeder, who oversaw the trial, saying that he had been “as impartial as a dance mom clapping harder than anyone.”
Day said that the rules he followed during the trial were “all standard procedure.”
“That’s why I ordered that the prosecution not use the word ‘victims,’” he said. “They were rioters. And they weren’t shot. They were ‘gadoinked.’ But that did not give my client an unfair advantage in any way.”
Strong asked him, “Do you mean the defendant?”
“Oh yeah, sure, I keep doing that,” Day replied.
Strong brought out two liberal commentators, played by Chloe Fineman and Chris Redd, who saw the verdict from very different perspectives.
“I was shocked,” Fineman said. (“You were?” Redd responded. “‘Cause I wasn’t.”)
“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” she said. (“I have,” he answered. “Many, many times.”)
“This is not who we are,” Fineman declared. (“I feel like it kind of is,” Redd answered.)
The sketch also featured Alex Moffat as Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, in a brief sendup of the eight-hour speech he gave from Thursday night into Friday morning. Strong said of him, “And that brave man stopped the Build Back Better bill from being passed. Until the next day, when it passed in two minutes.”
As in its previous iteration, the segment concluded with an appearance from James Austin Johnson as former President Donald J. Trump. He delivered a couple of free-association riffs on Chris Christie, Bill Maher, Dua Lipa and “Gossip Girl,” and boasted that he had “built it back even better.”
“I did wall,” Johnson said. “Big, beautiful wall. But it’s not just wall, because when you put wall down through a grass field, frankly, that’s road. And if you take wall and lay it across the river, frankly, Jeanine, you are doing bridge.”
Game Show Parody of the Week
What constitutes a Republican or Democratic viewpoint anymore? Efforts to answer that question may prove elusive but they at least provide “S.N.L.” with the foundations of this satirical game show titled “Republican or Not.”
Hosted by Kenan Thompson, the show asks contestants played by Liu and Ego Nwodim to answer that question about panelists including Kyle Mooney, who says he hates cops and thinks Facebook is evil; Sarah Sherman, who says her favorite comic is Dave Chappelle; and Strong, who is playing Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming. (“You are the Rachel Dolezal of the Republican Party,” Thompson told her. “We will see you on MSNBC in about a week.”)
Fake Commercial of the Week
If you’re short on supplies for an upcoming Thanksgiving feast in your household, Target has you covered: not just turkeys, sides and sauces but (in this “S.N.L.” commercial parody) the highly specific items you’ll need to placate the more challenging members of your family.
That includes a football for your uncle who takes the outdoor pigskin game too seriously; motion sensors so your dirtbag cousin can smoke in the driveway; and toys for kids left unsupervised. However briefly, this sketch also provides Liu with one of his better roles for the night: an annoying boyfriend who will only eat Tofurkey because, as he explains, “I won’t eat anything with feathers anymore.” (Needless to say, he’s also extremely enthusiastic about crypto.)
Music Video of the Week
Pete Davidson has been famous for a while now but, as you may have noticed recently, he’s gotten really famous. This apparently affords him the clout to create oddities like this segment, a parody of the video for Marc Cohn’s 1991 hit single “Walking in Memphis,” reframed so that it’s about Davidson’s home borough of Staten Island.
Instead of the Sun Records studio and a statue of Elvis Presley, Davidson’s take features appearances from Method Man and the real-life Cohn, as well as bagel stores, pizzerias and a strip club that possibly used to be a McDonald’s.
Weekend Update Jokes of the Week
Over at the Weekend Update desk, the anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che continued to riff on the Rittenhouse trial as well as other political developments from the past week
The Sketch About a Man’s Body With the Head and Neck of a Dog
Here it is, Dog Head Man. Have a happy Thanksgiving.