The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Last night’s stunning, star-studded Saturday Night Live cold open begins simply enough: a black screen with white words that say “The following is based on real events” and a dissolve to Michael Cohen (Ben Stiller) loitering near a pay phone. He is placing a call to the Oval Office, where Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) sits reading a golf magazine.

“How are you holding up in prison?” Trump asks solicitously.

“I’m not in prison!” cries Cohen.

“Well, give it a couple of weeks,” Trump retorts.

Of course, Cohen fretful that they’re both going to prison, and assures Trump he “dialed *86” to make sure nobody could listen to their conspiring over the Stormy Daniels lawsuit.

The pair of FBI agents showed listening on another screen look bemused.

But that darkly funny tableau swiftly expands into a kaleidoscopic rendering of Trumpian chaos, as Cohen fumbles with “burner” phones that bring on Trump’s former doctor Harold Bornstein (Martin Short), a manic Rudy Giuliani (Kate McKinnon), Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Aidy Bryant), Omarosa Manigault (Leslie Jones), Melania (Cecily Strong), Mike Pence (Beck Bennett) — and Jared and Ivanka (Scarlett Johannson and Jimmy Fallon), whining because Giuliani had suggested Kushner was “disposable.”

As the sketch is about to spiral away, Trump says he wants to talk with Stormy Daniels herself to resolve her lawsuit. Cohen reluctantly dials the number. And who should pick up on the other end but that notorious actress — the real Stephanie Clifford — ready to tell Trump what she wants.

Do not miss this one — a remarkable SNL tour de force.


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Americans are currently experiencing one of the most peculiar public episodes of my lifetime. Amid a deadly worldwide disease epidemic, many people are behaving like medieval peasants: alternately denying the existence of the plague, blaming an assortment of imaginary villains, or running around seeking chimerical miracle cures.

Feed store Ivermectin? I've administered it to horses, cows and dogs. But to my wife? No thank you. It says right on the label that it's not for human consumption. But at least you won't die of heartworm.

Keep reading... Show less

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

{{ }}