Fox News has so far been wary in reporting on a defamation lawsuit brought against it by Dominion Voter Systems, and on the many private messages the suit has surfaced from high-ranking Fox News personnel, expressing their disbelief at falsehoods and conspiracy theories the network promoted after the 2020 presidential election.
So “Saturday Night Live” strode right into that gap, kicking off this weekend’s show with a sketch that imagined how the “Fox & Friends” morning show might cover this news. (Short answer: awkwardly.)
“S.N.L.”, which was hosted by the Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and featured the musical guest Kelsea Ballerini, opened on a sendup of “Fox & Friends” with Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner and Bowen Yang playing the hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade.
Day, as Doocy, set up the segment by saying, “You may have heard that Fox News is currently facing a $1.6 billion lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems.”
Yang, as Kilmeade, said he was surprised by the suit “because I’m such a fan of Dominions — the little yellow guys with the overalls.”
“Not the Minions,” Day explained. “We’re talking about the Dominion voting machines lawsuit. And our boss, Rupert Murdoch, gave some pretty shocking testimony in the case.”
“This whole trial has been so unfair,” said Gardner. “They are raking him over the coals. Rupert Murdoch would never murder anyone. They sent him away for life.”
Day corrected her, too. “That’s not Rupert Murdoch, that’s Alex Murdaugh,” he said.
“Well, we just blew the case wide open,” Gardner replied. “They got the wrong guy.”
The hosts shared text messages from Fox News hosts that they said the news media had presented out of context. For example, Yang showed a text message from Sean Hannity that read: “Rudy Giuliani is insane.”
However, Yang said, the full message actually read that Giuliani is “insanely hot. I just want to lick that head dye right off.”
Day added that text messages reading “Mind blowingly nuts” and “off the rails” had been sent to their fellow Fox host Laura Ingraham in response to her question, “What should I put in my Tinder bio?”
The hosts then introduced an interview with the MyPillow founder, Mike Lindell (James Austin Johnson), warning him not to say anything outrageous about Dominion.
Saying that he understood, Johnson immediately disobeyed the instruction. “Every Dominion machine has a Venezuelan Oompa Loompa inside that eats the votes with its little mouth,” he said.
Following a further admonishment, Johnson broke the rule again: “Dominion voting machines give triple votes to Democrats, illegals and that lady M&M that stopped shaving her pits,” he said.
Toy story of the week
When you’ve got an “S.N.L.” episode hosted by a star athlete like Kelce, a two-time Super Bowl-champion, of course you’re going to put him in sketches that puncture traditional notions of masculinity. Like this one, which found Kelce’s neatly attired character dining at an American Girl Café, with no other companions at his table besides his two dolls, Claire and Isabelle.
Kelce proved pretty deft with wry descriptions of his dolls (“Isabelle just had her period and she thinks she’s a woman now”) and in parrying the suspicions of a waiter, played by Day, who asked if his name might turn up on any court documents or government lists. “The only list you’ll find me on is the hungriest customer list,” Kelce responded.
Fake ad of the week
Yang got the spotlight in this filmed segment, explaining to the camera that, as a gay man, he loves his female friends but sometimes finds them overwhelming. When he needs relief, he turns to Straight Male Friend, a product he describes with the same calm detachment you would use to summarize a prescription drug: “A low-effort, low-stakes relationship that requires no emotional commitment, no financial investment and, other than the occasional video-game related outburst, no drama.”
Kelce played that product, an easygoing bro who barely reacted when Yang told him he was thinking of moving to Europe for seven years. “Just hit me when you’re back,” Kelce responded.
But be careful: As an onscreen graphic warned, “Three or more straight male friends may result in a trip to Atlantic City.”
Weekend Update jokes of the week
Over at the Weekend Update desk, the anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che riffed on a drag performance ban in Tennessee; a conclusion from the Department of Energy on the cause of the coronavirus pandemic; and the fallout from a racist rant by Scott Adams, the creator of the comic strip “Dilbert.”
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has signed a new law banning public drag performances with a six-year prison sentence for repeat offenders, as first predicted in the now documentary “Madea Goes to Jail.” A Tennessee state senator said the bill will prevent kids from being “blindsided by a sexualized performance in public.” What are you talking about? Drag shows don’t just pop up like flash mobs and sprinkle gay dust on your kids. I never accidentally happened upon a drag show, and I grew up in New York City. Now, I have been blindsided by a sexualized performance a few times, but that’s just what you get when you take the bus.
Che turned to Covid news …
The U.S. Energy department concluded that Covid likely originated from a Wuhan laboratory leak and not a wet market. So I gave up eating bats for nothing?
… and then pivoted to “Dilbert”:
Newspapers around the country dropped the cartoon strip “Dilbert” after creator Scott Adams said he chose to live in a community where no Black people live. So he lives in your building, huh, Colin?
Jost (after denying it was true) picked up the thread:
Newspapers dropped the cartoon strip effective immediately. And to rub it in, they’re replacing “Dilbert” with “Peanuts: Oops All Franklin.” “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams’s racist rant was in response to the results of a poll that asked respondents the question, “Is it OK to be white?” Oh, I’d say it’s more than just OK. [His screen showed a photo of Jost holding wads of cash in his hands.]
Weekend Update desk segment of the week
Extending its mockery of the comic-strip controversy, Weekend Update featured a visit from Dilbert himself: He was played by Michael Longfellow, who wore some horrifying prosthetics that all-too-realistically depicted what the character might look like if he were human.
Longfellow told Che that, although he was oblivious to Adams’s racism: “I knew he was bad. He made go into the office every single day during Covid and he knows I’m autoimmune.” When Che responded with disbelief, Longfellow said, “Do I look like somebody who’s not autoimmune? Yeah, I’m a real athlete. My hair is skin, Michael.”
He went on to describe Adams as “the funny guy” and “the Trump-supporting cartoonist who did magic in his spare time — had a great Kevin Hart impression.” Che said, “Well that sounds like a racist to me.”
Longfellow replied: “Well, it turns out he was a racist. And I’m his prize creation. I mean, what does that make me?”