Saturday Night Live never shies away from politics, and last night was no exception. The cold open had President Donald Trump inspiring our troops to fight against an alien force, and a faux commercial had Ivanka pushing "Complicit" perfume (and cologne, for Jared). But the most biting political satire came from an unlikely place: a sketch about a talking dog.
Scarlett Johansson played a dog owner and scientist who has invented a technology that can translate a dog's thoughts into words. The catch, though, is that the dog turned out to be a vocal Trump supporter.
"I like park and leash. And I like Trump. He's my man," said Max the dog, voiced perfectly by Beck Bennett.
The scientists, clearly not Trump fans, are appalled and suggest there's a glitch in the software causing a translation error. Max quickly disabused them of that notion: "There's no glitch. Donald Trump is our president, he carried our electoral college fair and square... Donald Trump has issues, but one big change is better than business as usual."
The brilliance of this sketch is that while the dog is able to make a cogent argument in favor of Trump ("The Dow is up 2700 points since he was elected. What's not to like?"), while the humans are completely incapable of debating him on the merits, resorting to calling him a "monster" or saying he doesn't know what he's talking about.
"It's that condescending attitude that got Trump elected in the first place!" said the dog during a moment of ad-libbed genius as the dog, unscripted, removed his translation helmet. Kudos to Beck Bennett and ScarJo for quickly reacting to the unexpected turn of events.
When Johannson asks Max the dog about his stance on abortion, she asks, "What about his record on women's rights? Don't you want me to have a choice over my own body?"
"You didn't afford me a choice when you cut off your balls."
The sketch's pitch perfect political satire is reminiscent of the Black Jeopardy! sketch, which demonstrated the similarities between the cultures of black America and rural white voters and reminds us that sometimes the best sketch of the night isn't the one with Alec Baldwin. Though those are pretty great, too.
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