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‘Saturday Night Live’ Takes On the Jan. 6 Committee


Although its first two episodes avoided opening sketches that recreated news events, “Saturday Night Live” eventually found reality too irresistible: This weekend’s broadcast led with a parody of what was potentially the ultimate meeting of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Because the hearing began, Kenan Thompson, playing the committee’s chairman, Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, offered some momentous remarks. “Jan. 6 was one of the crucial dramatic and consequential moments in our nation’s history,” he said. “So to fight back, we assembled a team of monotone nerds to do a PowerPoint.”

Summarizing the meeting’s agenda before holding up a tray of miniature cupcakes, he added, “We’re going to summarize our findings, hold a history-making vote, after which and only then, all of us get to have slightly treat.”

He then turned the hearing over to Heidi Gardner, playing Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and the committee’s vice chairwoman. Gardner explained that the committee’s evidence was aimed toward all Americans: “Whether you’re a Republican who’s not watching or a Democrat who’s nodding so hard your head is falling off, one person is answerable for this rebel: Donald Trump,” she said. “And one person will suffer the implications: me.”

For those viewers wondering where her toughness got here from, Gardner suggested it was hereditary. She asked, “On your tenth birthday, did you eat pizza at Chuck E. Cheese with all your folks, or did you shoot a deer within the face with Dick Cheney?”

Thompson almost acknowledged an eerily eager Michael Longfellow, playing Adam Schiff, Democrat of California, but reconsidered. (“Too spooky,” he said.) The committee also showed a video of Chloe Fineman (as Speaker Nancy Pelosi) and Sarah Sherman (because the Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer) reacting in real time to the Capitol attack.

While Fineman, as Pelosi, conducted a tense call with Mike Pence, Sherman, as Schumer, was also on the phone — to DoorDash, looking for a missing lunch order. (She said it contained “12 dill pickles, still floating within the juice, and a hot pastrami sandwich with very light mustard.”)

One other video featured James Austin Johnson as former President Donald J. Trump, making remarks said to have taken place the day before the attack. Speaking on a phone, Johnson said: “The votes don’t matter in any respect. Because what even is a vote? It’s just a chunk of paper, you fold up and put it in a hat, a man shakes it around.” After some rambling remarks about Apollo Creed, Ivan Drago and Obamacare, Johnson wrapped up the decision by casually asking, “Is Mike Pence dead yet?”

Thompson concluded the meeting itself: “We tried,” he said. “It was a fun country while it lasted.”

Is it possible for a single joke — a single graphic — to make a whole sketch worthwhile? If that’s the case then “Girl Talk” might just have been that sketch. It began off innocuously enough, with an introduction from its host, Mo’nique Money Mo’nique Problems (Ego Nwodim), who described this system as “the talk show where ladies tell me their problems and I keep my advice real easy.”

She and her guests (Megan Thee Stallion and Punkie Johnson) went on to debate their problems and solutions in conversations consisting of various intonations of the word “Girl.” And simply to be helpful to “any white people or men tuning in,” Nwodim provided subtitles for a discussion of the war in Ukraine, during which a two-syllable utterance of “girl” by Megan Thee Stallion produced a whole screen’s value of densely packed (but educational!) text on the history of the conflict.

This filmed segment for an original song called “We Got Brought” spun laughs (and a genuinely catchy tune) from a recognizably stressful premise: Nwodim, Megan Thee Stallion and Bowen Yang played the tag-along guests of three longtime friends who’ve met up at a club and ditched their plus-ones to hang around amongst themselves.

Now the three guests, who’re strangers to 1 one other, are stuck at a table and unable to seek out anything to speak about. As one verse goes: “You’re all out of topics and the conversation’s lazy / So you simply carry on saying, ‘That’s crazy, that’s crazy.’” The anxiety of Yang’s character — who tries to make small talk by remarking that only 25 people have died at Disneyland since 1955 — is so palpable it pops off the screen.

Over on the Weekend Update desk, the anchors Michael Che and Colin Jost continued to riff on the Jan. 6 committee and the outcomes from its latest meeting.

Jost began:

After the Jan. 6 committee subpoenaed Donald Trump, Trump responded the subsequent day with a 14-page letter. Fourteen pages. OK, Unabomber. I don’t know if this can be a coincidence, but Trump wrote the letter on the identical day the F.D.A. confirmed the nation is experiencing a shortage of Adderall. I just know from experience in college, any time I wrote a 14-page paper in a single night, I’d also taken a disturbing amount of Adderall.

He went on:

My favorite a part of Trump’s letter is the start since it’s on very nice letterhead. It starts, “Dear Chairman Thompson.” After which the primary line is just screaming. It’s like reading a Victorian love letter that claims, “My beloved Winifred, WHO THE HELL ARE YOU HAVING SEX WITH?”

Che picked up the thread:

The committee showed a never-before-seen video from Jan. 6 of a desperate Nancy Pelosi speaking on the phone with Mike Pence. Which to Pence counts as adultery. Within the video, Pelosi said that she desired to punch out Donald Trump and knew that if she did, she’d go to jail and be glad. I assume because she owns stock in private prisons.

It was a moment that passed by almost as quickly as considered one of Megan Thee Stallion’s verses, but within the midst of a busy night of comedy and costume changes, the rapper was genuinely moved during a portion of 1 her songs. In her performance of “Anxiety,” Megan Thee Stallion referenced her mother, Holly Thomas, who died of brain cancer in 2019. As those lyrics run:

If I could write a letter to Heaven
I might tell my mama that I shoulda been listenin’
And I might tell her sorry that I actually been wildin’
And ask her to forgive me, ‘cause I actually been tryin’
And I might ask, please, show me who been real
And get ‘em from around me in the event that they all been fake
It’s crazy how I say the identical prayers to the Lord
And all the time get surprised about who he take

Megan Thee Stallion didn’t a lot as swallow a syllable however the emotion of the lyrics were audible in her voice and visual on her face — some viewers wondered online in the event that they even saw her shed a tear. On Friday, Megan Thee Stallion tweeted that she was contemplating a break following “S.N.L.,” and if she chooses to take it, she has surely earned it.

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