Sometimes a political impression is based on minute and uncanny observation of a powerful subject’s every tic and mannerism. Other times, it’s a loony but essence-capturing series of catchphrases that does the trick. And then there are those impressions that go both high and low for verisimilitude, which brings us to last night’s Anya Taylor-Joy hosted Saturday Night Live finale, and the ever-spot-on hilarity that is Cecily Strong’s take on Fox News’s human false alarm, Jeanine Pirro.
Strong’s made the blustery, boozy Pirro her target for a while now, but, this being the season’s last episode (and Pirro being as loudly wrong and racist as ever over on Fox), the sketch standout decided to go out with a bang. Or, rather a splash. Several splashes. Let’s call it a few dozen splashes, right to the kisser of Weekend Update anchor and straight man Colin Jost, who would up taking even more of the (allegedly) sozzled and seditious Pirro’s spilled wine than usual in a barn-burner of an Update segment from the sometimes-suspended former judge.
Strong’s Pirro began with a signature rant about everyone from the “gauchos to the banditos,” El Chapo to Del Taco” who she claimed, loudly, is swarming our southern border since her main man the treasonous golf greeter retreated in defeat to “the most luxurious place on Earth—Mar-a-Lago!” (Where, according to her, life is like being “on a cruise ship that’s permanently docked in the hottest part of Florida.”) Strong has always had Pirro’s bombastically bigoted schtick down, but it was really the prop work with that glass that topped off her triumphant portrayal here. After slapping Jost all over with the rapidly diminishing joy-juice from her oversized receptacle, Pirro demanded her backup wine, which emerged in a huge, luxurious, transparent rolling box, complete with a giant straw. (Pirro’s brand: “White Girl Wasted.” Ask for it by name.)
Launching into a defiant rendition of “My Way” despite Jost’s wine-sodden, barely-keeping-it-together laughter, Strong’s Pirro bravely submerged herself under the surface of the ruby red liquid, emerging only to refill her glass enough to whip the stuff a good six feet over her shoulder and right onto Jost. Several times. With Jost and co-anchor Michael Che joining the audience’s rapturous applause (for Strong’s aim and performance, if not Pirro’s history of hateful, racist nonsense), Strong’s Judge Jeanine was put to drunken sleep for the season, presumably mumbling something about immigrants.