Last week’s Saturday Night Live avoided the issue of how the show was going to take on president-elect Donald Trump, with Kate McKinnon’s shell-shocked Hillary Clinton singing a heartfelt goodbye to the presidency (and calling on those equally stunned at the prospect of a Trump administration to keep on fighting). That task fell to last night’s Kristen Wiig-hosted episode, which began with Alec Baldwin reprising a role that he’s not particularly excited to play for the next four years. But what choices does the show have beyond putting a wig and orange face paint on Baldwin? A Trump puppet on the hand of Beck bennett’s perennially shirtless Vladimir Putin? An emergency hire of Anthony Atamanuik?
As it turns out, the more things change, the more they stay the moderately amusing same, as Baldwin, at least for now, is back on board. In the cold open, it was the Emmy winner once again blustering as a harried, indecisive Donald Trump, suddenly in way over his head now that making wild, variably racist promises to his supporters has given way to actually having to do a job he’s not remotely prepared for. As far as SNL presidential takes go, this first post-election Trump sketch leans toward calling the president-elect a nakedly opportunistic conman, rather than delving into the hardcore bigotry of his campaign. (The same goes for Kate McKinnon’s former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who is shown to be genuine rattled at what she’s unleashed upon the nation, stifling vomit when she announces Mike Pence’s arrival.) This Trump is a buffoon, asking Siri how to get rid of ISIS, not realizing how long that whole Mexican border fence is supposed to be, and immediately dropping plans to jail Hillary Clinton, kill Obamacare, and register all Muslims as soon as he’s told how mad people are about those ideas. Again, it’s only the first week, but so far, it seems SNL is voting “incompetent” over “evil” on a Trump administration.