‘S.N.L.’: Tina Fey Reprises Sarah Palin in a Star-Filled Season Finale

A crowd stuffed with well-known faces gathered on Saturday to witness a momentous union — and in different information, Prince Harry married Meghan Markle. For its 43rd season finale, “Saturday Night Live” introduced collectively two highly effective entertainers: Tina Fey, who hosted the episode, and the rapper Nicki Minaj, its musical visitor. Among the celebrities who made cameos have been Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert De Niro, Donald Glover, John Goodman, Anne Hathaway, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jerry Seinfeld.

When “S.N.L.” alums return as hosts, they have an inclination to reprise their most beloved characters from the present. For Fey, that character is definitely her rendition of the 2008 vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin. Palin didn’t present up till the ultimate half-hour, in a sketch set in the Oval Office. It was the spotlight of the night.

“It’s me, the ghost of Sarah Palin,” Fey mentioned as if talking to Palin’s followers, earlier than clarifying that she was simply kidding. “I’m still alive,” she mentioned. “But you had to think about it, didn’t ya?” Clad in a leather-based motorbike jacket, Fey defined, “One minute you’re on top, and then you’re gone in the blink of a Scaramucci.” Then she sang a few bars of “What I Did for Love,” from the musical “A Chorus Line.”

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, performed by Aidy Bryant, quickly popped in to puzzle over her comparatively prolonged tenure as White House press secretary. Speculating on what the longer term would maintain for her, she put her personal spin on “What I Did for Love”: “Kiss White House goodbye, and point me toward Fox News,” Bryant sang. “I did what he said to do, and I might regret what I did for Trump.”

Kellyanne Conway (Kate McKinnon), Stormy Daniels (Cecily Strong) and Omarosa Manigault Newman (Leslie Jones) took their turns recounting what they had achieved for — or, in the case of Daniels, “with” — President Trump. Fred Armisen, the “S.N.L.” alum and “Portlandia” star, joined the manufacturing quantity as Michael Wolff, the White House reporter behind the e-book “Fire and Fury.” His verse included the road, “The truth was mine to borrow.”

The sketch’s different shock visitor was Goodman, who delivered an impression of Trump’s former secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. “I’m the only man ever to go into a situation scathed and come out unscathed,” he joked. “Trump was the biggest mess I’ve ever dealt with, and I worked for Exxon Mobil.”

Too Many Cameos?

About an hour earlier, Fey’s opening monologue poked enjoyable on the reliance by “S.N.L.” on well-known actors like De Niro, Alec Baldwin and Ben Stiller, all of whom had simply appeared in the opening sketch. After asserting that she would take questions from the viewers, she referred to as on Seinfeld, who requested, “Do you think the show has too many celebrity cameos these days?”

Fey additionally fielded throwaway questions from Cumberbatch, Hathaway, De Niro, Armisen and Chris Rock. Glover, who hosted the present earlier this month and labored with Fey as a author on “30 Rock,” requested whether or not Fey had seen a hat he had left backstage. “I have this system in place where I’ll be able to tell if you wore it or not,” he warned her.

The sweetest cameo of the night time got here on the finish of the monologue, when Fey’s “30 Rock” co-star Tracy Morgan took the stage to want her a comfortable birthday. (She joked that she was now 60 however had, in reality, simply turned 48 on Friday.) “If your man isn’t making you feel special today, I will,” he supplied.

It was most likely inevitable that the episode would function a sketch concerning the royal marriage ceremony, which took place earlier that morning. But what was actually spectacular was how shortly the “S.N.L.” costume division was capable of throw collectively copies of clothes as distinctive as Queen Elizabeth’s chartreuse suit and Kate Middleton’s flowery white hat.

Prince Harry, performed by Mikey Day, supplied a guided tour of the luxurious reception. “The past six years I’ve been pregnant, so I’m goin’ hard tonight,” Strong, as Middleton, proclaimed. Playing a great-uncle of Markle’s, Kenan Thompson tried to persuade the queen to look at “The Crown.” Alex Moffat’s Prince William drank what he referred to as a “virgin hot toddy” (in any other case generally known as tea) and minimize free on the dance ground with child Prince Louis strapped to his chest.

But the celebration actually acquired going when Harry ventured into the room reserved for the marriage’s much less distinguished company, comparable to one among Markle’s fellow “briefcase girls” from her stint on “Deal or No Deal” and the comic Russell Brand (performed by Pete Davidson). It was a bit stunning to see Princess Diana’s shut buddy Elton John (Aidy Bryant) relegated to the B-list, however at the least he had Leslie Jones, who performed herself, for firm.

Fey rounded out that visitor checklist — and acquired the largest snicker strains — because the dentally-challenged Duchess of Devonshire-Upon-Cump, who, amongst different issues, had been kicked in the face by a horse and had a difficult household historical past. “I am both your aunt and your niece,” she defined to Harry, who mentioned he’d recognized her higher as “Auntie Creepy.”

A ‘Sopranos’-Style Open

Alec Baldwin is mainly an “S.N.L.” forged member at this level, so the present needed to up the ante on visitor stars in the final opening sketch of the season. The A-listers filtered in slowly, over the course of a sketch that spoofed the famously cryptic sequence finale of “The Sopranos.” Baldwin’s Trump strode into Holsten’s Restaurant in Bloomfield, N.J., cued up Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” on the jukebox and requested the waitress, “Is HPV different from H.I.V.?”

The first Trump affiliate to bluster in was Rudy Giuliani, performed by McKinnon, who gave a boastful play-by-play of his puzzling appearance on Fox News earlier this month. “I told them you were openly colluding with Russia,” McKinnon bragged, “and then I said, ‘So what?’”

The “S.N.L.” staples Donald Jr. (Mikey Day) and Eric Trump (Alex Moffat) joined the reunion, though Eric took his time parallel parking his tricycle first. But the marquee names on the diner have been De Niro and Stiller as Robert Mueller and Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen — roles they played earlier in the season. Asked what he had been as much as since his dismissal from the president’s internal circle, Cohen mentioned, “Mostly just preparing for jail and stuff.”

Mueller had slipped in, unnoticed by everybody however Trump, and was listening in from a close by desk. When he made for the lavatory, he signaled that he had his eyes on the president. But, similar to on “The Sopranos,” viewers didn’t get to see what occurred subsequent.

Weekend Update Joke of the Week

Amid jokes concerning the Mueller investigation, Giuliani and the royal marriage ceremony, the co-anchor Michael Che took problem with a research that discovered that black and Latino suspects made up the overwhelming majority of marijuana arrests in New York City. “Well, duh — we’re the only ones they search,” he mentioned. “That’s like saying the only people that have S.T.D.s are the people that take tests for S.T.D.s.”

Che added: “If cops searched white dudes in cargo shorts as much as they search black dudes in hoodies, prison would look like a Dave Matthews concert. People are always talking about needing diversity in Hollywood. Know where we really need diversity? Jail.”

‘Weekend Update’ Deskside Gag of the Week

The breakout star of the royal marriage ceremony was the American Episcopal bishop Michael Curry, who gave a lengthy speech on the facility of affection. In a deskside interview, Thompson joined Che and his co-host, Colin Jost, with an impression of Curry that he should have put collectively in simply a few hours. Recounting his look on the marriage ceremony, he complained, “I’m up there giving my all, and a sea of white faces is just looking back at me, and I thought, ‘Oh, lord help me, this must be what it’s like to be Darius Rucker.’”

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