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‘Saturday Night Live’ Welcomes Kristen Stewart and a Hero Dog


No surprise celebrity cameos were required this time. The opening sketch of this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live,” hosted by Kristen Stewart, gave the spotlight to one of the show’s own cast members — in this case, Kate McKinnon, in her recurring role as Senator Elizabeth Warren. The sketch found her at a 2020 presidential campaign event in Iowa after proposing a $20.5 trillion health care plan.

First, McKinnon had a few general remarks for her crowd. “Look at me,” she said. “I am in my natural habitat: a public school on a weekend. And I just housed a Nature Valley bar in the hallway, so I am jacked up and ready to pipe off.”

She offered her condolences to Beto O’Rourke, who announced that he was dropping out of the presidential race. “Thank you so much for running a great campaign and sticking around long enough to call me punitive,” McKinnon said. “I was so badass. Let me know how my dust tastes, all right?”

She also offered a tongue-in-cheek encouragement to President Trump, who recently said he was changing his primary residence from New York to Florida.

“And congratulations to Donald Trump for paying less taxes by moving to Florida,” McKinnon said. “Or as he calls it, bringing his talents to South Beach. You know where I pay my taxes? Every single state, out of principle.”

McKinnon went on to take questions from crowd members played by “S.N.L.” cast members, including Cecily Strong, who said she was a Kamala Harris campaign worker “but still undecided.”

Answering a question about her health care plan, McKinnon said, “When Bernie was talking Medicare For All, everybody was like, oh, cool. And then they turned to me and said, ‘Fix it mom.’ And I’ll do it because that’s what moms do. With Dad, you eat birthday cake for breakfast and then go to Six Flags. And then I hold your hand while you throw up in my purse.”

Another crowd member, played by Alex Moffat, asked her to compare her plan to Vice President Biden’s. McKinnon answered, “My plan compares favorably in that it exists. Nobody asks Biden how to pay for stuff because his plans are so vague. No one asks how we’re going to pay for ‘Remember Obama.’”

Finally, a crowd member played by Chloe Fineman said she wasn’t sure she could part with her current medical insurer.

McKinnon told her, “Your insurance is like a bad boyfriend. Girl, listen to me. You need to leave him. He’s draining you. You deserve better.”

She added, “You’re going to call him and you’re going to end it. And I’m going to come right over with an apple strudel and we’re going to post up on the couch and watch my favorite show, which is somehow ‘Ballers.’ And then one day Blue Cross/Blue Shield is going to text you from the couch saying, Baby I miss you. And you’re going to say: New phone, who dis?”

McKinnon asked her, “So do I have your vote?”

Fineman replied, “I don’t know, Pete Buttigieg seems nice.”

Cecily Strong once again found herself having to share the stage with a lovable if ever-so-slightly uncooperative canine, in a sketch where she played a human interpreter to Conan, a dog that was wounded in the raid against Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State leader.

In a satirical news conference, Strong fielded questions from reporters who wanted to know what compelled Conan to take on such dangerous work (“I do this job for two reasons,” she said, interpreting for the dog. “One, I love my country and two, bellyrubs”) and whether Conan was scared during the attack. (“A little, sure, but it could have been worse,” she said. “The terrorists have guns and explosives but at least they don’t have vacuum cleaners.”)

Strong also acknowledged some scandals in Conan’s past. “I should come clean about something,” she said. “Ten years ago, at a Halloween party I dressed up as a cat. I did not mean to appropriate feline culture or put on catface. I also apologize for last Halloween, when I dressed as a chocolate Lab.”

Over at the Weekend Update desk, anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che continue to riff on President Trump’s decision to make Florida his primary residence.

Jost:

President Trump announced that he is changing his permanent residence from New York to Florida. Because you know what they say, if you can’t drain the swamp, move to it. I’ve got to say it is such a genius troll move that Trump raised taxes for New Yorkers and then left New York. It’s like ripping one in an elevator then pressing all the buttons and running out. Trump also said he’s leaving New York because local politicians have treated him very badly. Especially one New York politician who’s been actively destroying his life. [The screen displayed a picture of Rudy Giuliani.]

Che:

I don’t blame Trump for moving. He got booed today at the UFC fight. He got booed in DC at the World Series. Now he’s moving to Florida so he can probably get booed at Disney World. He gets booed everywhere he’s ever lived. I mean, even Cosby can still play Philly. By the way, you’ve got to be a special kind of guy for New Yorkers to unanimously hate you. We put up with a lot of bad people. Just today, I had a fellow yell the N-word at me on the subway, with a hard ‘er.’ And even still, I don’t hate him. I just finished peeing and switched cars.


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