30 Rock was not a happy place for Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen this week. On Monday morning, his Rockerfeller Plaza office, along with his residence, was raided by the FBI, based on a referral by special counsel Robert Mueller. On Saturday night, just a few floors away, he found himself hooked up to a polygraph machine, being grilled by none other than Robert (De) Mueller, live on television.
Okay, so that last part didn’t happen. But he was lampooned on Saturday Night Live, in a surprisingly fitting parody of the iconic Meet the Parents lie detector scene, starring Ben Stiller as the embattled lawyer and Robert De Niro as Robert Mueller. If anyone could match the intimidation tactics of retired CIA agent and prospective father-in-law Jack Byrnes, it’s Mueller.
Stiller, a short-lived former cast member, and De Niro, who has made several appearances on the show, recreated their nerve-racking father-boyfriend dynamic from the 2000 comedy for the cold open, with De Niro’s Mueller grilling Stiller’s Cohen about the Stormy Daniels affair using a familiar line of questioning. The pot roast (“was it undercooked?”) became the pee-pee tape (“how’d you like that pee-pee tape?”), while the innocuous “Did you fly on an airplane today?” became the far from innocuous “Did you make a payment of $130,000 to Stormy Daniels?” In the original scene, the polygraph machine gives Stiller’s Greg away when he denies ever having watched porn. In the parody, the needle goes wild when Cohen denies his client knew about the payment to the porn star.
But the best line of the sketch came in a Meet the Parents reference that wasn’t from the polygraph scene at all: Greg “Gaylord” Focker’s claim that he once milked a cat. “I was just trying to milk some information out of people, so what?” said Cohen, insisting anything with nipples can be milked—even a cat.
“Really?” asked Mueller. “I have nipples. Can you milk me, Mr. Cohen?”
It’s unclear what’s next in store for Michael Cohen, or if this lie detector scene is a premonition of things to come. But remember what Pam said, Mr. Cohen. He doesn’t need a machine. He’s a human lie detector.