Sunday, February 26, 2023

'SNL' sends up Trump's visit to the train derailment site in Ohio in its cold open and Weekend Update

"Saturday Night Live" began last night's episode with Trump Train Visit Cold Open.

Donald Trump (James Austin Johnson) delivers a message to the residents of East Palestine, Ohio, following the train derailment.
SNL's writers decided that the best news story for comedy since it shot down the Chinese 'spy balloon' in its cold open and Weekend Update to begin the month was the Ohio train derailment. I'm not surprised. It resumed the roast in Weekend Update: Biden Meets with Zelensky in Ukraine, The Oscars' Crisis Team.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like Donald Trump visiting East Palestine, Ohio, after the recent train derailment.
Both The Former Guy and Pete Buttigieg earned laughs for their appearances, although TFG was tacky and Buttigieg was just a little overdressed. I prefer the latter. Both had to wait until Jost and Che invited the audience to have a good laugh at Biden's visit to Ukraine on Presidents Day. That was bigger news, but I guess Jost, Che, and their writers didn't find it as funny as TFG in Ohio.

The mention of the "Oscars crisis team" in the first video of Weekend Update already qualified this post as the Sunday entertainment feature; Harvey Weinstein and R. Kelly's Prison Sentences, NBA Slam Dunk Contest leaned heavily into stories about books, movies, music, and sports to further justify its status.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like an alligator being found at Prospect Park in Brooklyn.
Also animals and art, making this a quick-paced roundup of lighter news.

Speaking of lighter news, follow over the jump for a couple of clips from the first show of this month that I'm serving as dessert made of leftovers.

Since Pedro Pascal hosted the previous episode, SNL decided to satirize "The Last of Us" via HBO Mario Kart Trailer.

In a video game turned series, a trailer follows a group of people as they try to help a princess get to Rainbow Road.
As deliberately silly an idea as this is, the imagined series looks better than the original Super Mario Brothers movie from 30(!) years ago and possibly even the animated Super Mario Brothers movie coming out this April. The former helped create the opinion that movies made from video games are invariably disappointing (I'm amazed it earned two Saturn Award nominations for costumes and makeup, which I agree were its strongest features, while not earning any nominations at the Razzies). The latter could still earn a Razzie nomination or two. At least "The Last of Us" shows that it's possible to make an excellent adaptation of a video game.

SNL uploaded a more subtle satire of HBO last week, Behind The Sketch: Mario Kart Trailer.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the "Mario Kart Trailer" sketch starring Pedro Pascal.
This does double duty. First, it gives fans (and Emmy voters) a look into the work behind the scene, making them appreciate it more. Second, it very gently parodies HBO's Behind the Scenes segments, which do the same thing. Not only did it work as a nonfiction segment, it also worked as self-promotion. Maybe segments like this will help 'SNL' win another Emmy Award, particularly since it will now be competing against "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" as the latter has been moved out of variety talk to a new variety scripted category. That likely hurts SNL and definitely helps the rest of the potential variety talk nominees, but we won't know that for another five months for nominations and seven for awards. Stay tuned.

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