Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Sterling K. Brown's Ben Carson stars in SNL's decidedly less-uplifting melodrama, This Is U.S.

Sterling K. Brown
Screenshot: Saturday Night Live

On last night’s solid Saturday Night Live, stellar host Sterling K. Brown made the expected This Is Us jokes, although his expertly teary monologue performance was thoroughly Randall-worthy in its riveting (if comic) emotionality. But it was in the short film parody This Is U.S. that the host took part in the show’s most elaborate This Is Us parody—even if the true target was less sublimely wrenching and more, well, ludicrously Trump-ian.

With Brown doing a whiny, introspective Ben Carson (“All of it—all of it is wroooong,” the HUD Secretary moans), Aidy Bryant whipping out a self-loathing version of her belligerently untruthful Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and a shirtless Pete Davidson essaying a desperate, wheedling Jared Kushner (drunkenly begging the United Arab Emirates for $800 million), the parody ad posits that the White House staff is like the Pearson family—except without any semblance of recognizable humanity. Sure, they may all cry (except for Kate McKinnon’s “empty inside” Kellyanne Conway), but, as one review notes, “You’ll be laughing through tears. But without the laughing. So I guess just regular crying.”


Share This Story

About the author

Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.