Alec Baldwin was back as Donald Trump in this week's "Saturday Night Live," though his portrayal of a buffoonish commander-in-chief was nearly upstaged by two other characters—White House strategist Steve Bannon in the form of a Grim Reaper and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, played by a violent, trash-talking Melissa McCarthy.
The show opened on Baldwin's Trump summoning one of his most trusted advisers to the Oval Office set. Enter the Grim Reaper to Bach's famous pipe organ horror theme.
“Hi Steve, you look rested,” Trump said, greeting the ghoulish figure.
When mock-Trump complained that he, on the other hand, was feeling tired, cranky and like he “could just freak out on somebody,” the Reaper suggested that he call Australia, kicking off the cold open’s comedic look back at Trump’s diplomatic exchanges of the week.
“I haven't been briefed or anything," Baldwin's Trump considered. "But what could go wrong?”
President Trump’s real conversation with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull this week was characterized in the media as tense. The Washington Post reported that Trump abruptly ended the call—an allegation the prime minister denied, saying the conversation ended “courteously.”
The same day, however, Trump publicly derided an Australia-U.S. refugee deal Turnbull said Trump had agreed, in their conversation, to honor.
On the ‘SNL’ set, it was also the topic of refugees that set Baldwin's Trump off. When Turnbull, played by Beck Bennett, thanked Trump for agreeing to accept refugees in a deal struck by the previous administration, Trump, panicking, cut him off.
"No, no refugees. America first. Australia sucks! Your reef is failing, prepare to go to war,” he blurted out before abruptly hanging up.
After the death-clad Bannon assured him that the call had gone well—"just according to plan”—Trump phoned Mexico's president, Enrique Peña Nieto. In "SNL's" version of the phone call, Trump unsuccessfully tried to trick the Mexican leader — in what Trump called a "smart, diplomatic way" — into saying Mexico would pay for the border wall that Trump has been promising since the start of his presidential campaign.
"Guy-who's-gonna-pay-for-the-wall-says, 'what?'" Baldwin's Trump said.
"Qué?" replied the Mexican leader, foiling the attempt at "diplomacy."
After he'd told Peña Nieto that Mexico sucks, Bannon got Trump to call German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who anxiously picked up the phone, apparently hoping it was former president Barack Obama.
“Hello? Is this my sweet Barack? Barack Obama, I miss you," she said before realizing who was on the other end. “Ah, gross. Hi Donald.”
As Merkel, played by Kate McKinnon, tried to end the conversation, Trump rekindled her interest by declaring he had something “serious” to say about Holocaust Remembrance Day. Trump’s administration came under fire after failing to specifically mention Jewish people as victims of the Holocaust in a Holocaust Remembrance Day statement.
In the skit, Merkel’s ears perked up at the mention of this topic. But Baldwin’s Trump immediately disappointed.
“Last week it was Holocaust Remembrance Day,” he began. “And as you know, 6 million people were at my inauguration. I mean there were just so many people at my inauguration and the media refuses to cover it. It’s so unfair and one day I’m going to write a memoir about this struggle and call it ‘My Struggle,’” he said, alluding to the name of Adolf Hitler’s notorious book. “What would that be in German, Angela?”
Rather than answer his question, Merkel instead corrected his pronunciation of her own name, sending him into a rage, yet again. “Don’t correct me I’m in charge now, Germany sucks. Your wall failed. Prepare to go to war!"
Prankster Trump eventually got his fictional comeuppance, but only after deciding to “call Zimbabwe” at his Grim Reaper-aide’s suggestion. “Call some random little country and show them who’s boss,” he said. “Show them the might of America”
Instead, longtime dictator Robert Mugabe, played by Kenan Thompson, threatened to rip out Trump's spine and drink from his skull. “Don’t you ever call Zimbabwe again,” he screamed.
Reaper-Bannon decided that was “enough fun” for the night and requested his desk back.
Trump ceded it to him, addressing him as “Mr. President” as he relocated to a miniature desk beside Bannon's.
The cold open gave way to another Trump-inspired monologue delivered by this week’s host Kristen Stewart, who used the opportunity to remind viewers that she too was once the target of Trump's twitter rage. Real Trump tweeted in 2012 about her on-again, off-again relationship with her "Twilight" co-star Robert Pattinson multiple times, insisting that Stewart was a serial cheater and that Pattinson could do better.
In her 'SNL' hosting debut, Stewart accidentally dropped the F-bomb before the first commercial break and then joked that she's never be invited back.
"Oh my god, and I'm sorry, and [musical guest] Alessia Cara is also here. And I'll never come back," she said.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, played by a well-disguised Melissa McCarthy, also made a memorable appearance in a sketch in which the secretary wielded his podium like a weapon to ward off reporters in the briefing room.
On "Family Feud," hosted by Kenan Thompson's Steve Harvey, New England Patriots fans, including quarterback Tom Brady's wife Giselle Bundchen (Stewart) and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (Bobby Moynihan), took on Atlanta Falcons fans, like Samuel L. Jackson (Leslie Jones) and disgraced celebrity chef Paula Deen (Aidy Bryant), in a pre-Super Bowl showdown.
And, in a parody of commercials wherein a doting wife prepares snack foods for her husband and his friends during the "Big Game," Vanessa Bayer finds herself neglecting wifely duties as she's drawn into a seductive game of pizza roll-play.
Musical guest Alessia Cara performed "Scars to Your Beautiful" and "River of Tears."