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You have to feel for the Saturday Night Live team, which had to rewrite the cold open on Friday after Roger Stone was arrested as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Luckily, Steve Martin used to work here.
The comedian stepped in to portray the disgraced former Trump advisor on Saturday, appearing as part of a Tucker Carlson parody.
Third-year starter Alex Moffat offered a sharp Carlson impersonation, imagining the Fox News pundit as a smarmy and condescending host. Cecily Strong was Fox News legal analyst Jeanine Pirro. Kate McKinnon proved why she’s one of the best cast members in recent history with a zany, bold Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross impression: She became a dusty and ridiculously out-of-touch rich dude, offering economic advice for millionaires.
McKinnon’s Ross should have been the sketch’s centerpiece, but Martin in glasses and a Northeastern accent continued a recent tradition of celebrity guests playing members of President Donald Trump’s inner circle.
“What a fun couple days, I’m loving the ride,” Martin’s Stone riffed. “Seven felonies! … How cool is that?”
Steve Martin plays Roger Stone
James McAvoy hosted the show, and rapper Meek Mill performed fresh off his critically acclaimed Championships record.
Like Alec Baldwin as POTUS or Matt Damon as Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the impressions are high-profile and sufficiently amusing. But there isn’t really a good joke in there. The celebrity surprise is the gag, and the unconventional real-life talking points are the punchlines. Martin at least offered a fun “two wild and crazy guys” callback, as the New York Times noted, and remixed the line here as “I’m just a normal and straightforward guy.”
Making fun of the Trump administration remains a surreal comedic challenge, but at least McKinnon proved it can be done.
Ramon Ramirez is the news director, and formerly the Dot's entertainment editor and evening editor. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Grantland, Washington City Paper, Austin American-Statesman, and Austin Monitor.