Conventional wisdom holds that making fun of Donald Trump is nearly impossible to do effectively because the real-life president is always infinitely more absurd. And that principal was vividly illustrated in last night's Saturday Night Live season finale, the series' third all-digital episode.
The show opened with a sketch that found Alec Baldwin's Trump delivering a high school commencement speech via Zoom, which, if anyone else were president, would be a reasonable enough setup. But Trump isn't giving his commencement speech over video chat this year. No, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, the president announced that he will be speaking to West Point's graduates as scheduled, which means that 1000 cadets will have to return from their homes around their country to their campus, located 50 miles from the pandemic's New York City epicenter. So while Baldwin gamely sipped from a bleach bottle and dropped casually racist asides during the cold open, the real president is poised to endanger lives just to have his chance to speak to West Point seniors in the flesh. His actions are literally too dangerous and ill-advised to parody.
Still, Baldwin's Trump offered the SNL grads advice on how he rose from being "the son of a simple, wealthy slumlord" to become "a billionaire, a president, and the world's leading expert on infectious diseases."
"Surround yourself with the worst people you can find—that way, you'll always shine," he advised. "If you don't understand something, just call it stupid. Never wear sunscreen. And live every day like it's your last, because we're going to let this virus run wild."
"I'll leave you with one of my favorite inspirational quotes," he finished. "'Reach for the stars, because you're a star, they let you do it.'"
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