Every time Donald Trump hits the American public in the head with one of his stupid claw hammers—the immigration ban, the Obama wiretap tweets, pretty much any public statement he makes—it distracts from our nation’s slow, crippling migraine: At some point in the next four years, this tottering doddard will have to lead the country through a real crisis. This week, Saturday Night Live took a look at the worst-case scenario: Donald Trump versus an alien invasion, and not the kind Steve Bannon has wet dreams about. No, these aliens come from Zorblatt 9 and seem more interested in world conquest than, say, building a better life for their children.
As great a setup as this is, we may be past the point of diminishing returns on Trump parodies. Alec Baldwin seems to have wrung most of what he can from his impression, although the writers are getting better at capturing the president’s cadences. Take this masochistic, self-pitying flourish:
We are going to beat these aliens, because we have got the best military. But we don’t win anymore. And the aliens are laughing at us! They’re killing us, and they’re laughing at us.
That’s pure Trump. And if Trump’s response to the destruction of California in the sketch—“So then I won the popular vote?”—seems ridiculous to the point of being mean, remember his response to the Sept. 11 attacks was essentially, “So now my building is the tallest in New York?” The man positively outruns parody—which is going to be a problem, since we’ve got years of this to go. But then there are only so many ways anyone—Saturday Night Live, Slate, John the Revelator, tornado sirens—can say the same thing: Trouble is coming.