Brow Beat

Saturday Night Live Tries and Fails to Make Kanye West’s Oval Office Remarks Weirder Than They Already Were

Chris Redd, dressed as Kanye West, embraces Alec Baldwin, dressed as Donald Trump.
Supermen!
NBC

Saturday Night Live has been back on the air for three episodes so far this season, and so far the show is three-for-three when it comes to Kanye-West-related content. West got the ball rolling himself: as the musical guest for the show’s premiere, he delivered an impromptu speech about Donald Trump while the cast cringed behind him. In the second episode, Pete Davidson delivered a response on “Weekend Update,” telling West, “Being mentally ill is not an excuse to act like a jackass.” And Saturday night the cold open was dedicated to West’s visit to the White House this week, during which the MAGA-hatted rapper expounded his theories on politics, welfare, and male energy, captivating the nation. Here’s SNL’s take on West’s latest adventures:

There’s really only so much anyone can do to make one of Kanye West’s political monologues weirder, but Chris Redd—who was not a fan of West’s SNL stunt—gives it his all. Still, the usual SNL cold open tactic of exaggerating and caricaturing one of the week’s events is more or less useless here, because West, like Trump, was already at eleven. So the laughs come from Kenan Thompson as a befuddled Jim Brown, and from Alec Baldwin, whose Donald Trump impression works surprisingly well when he’s playing straight man to Redd’s manic Kanye. Baldwin gets the best joke of the sketch, and it’s at the expense of one Alec Baldwin, who gave a bizarre Hollywood Reporter interview in which he bragged that black people love him:

Let’s remember the big lesson today: that black people love me. They love me way more than they love Alec Baldwin.

It’s a reassuring reminder that even though Donald Trump and Kanye West have both become impossible to satirize, we’ll always have actors.