Pour one out for Jeff Sessions — or, rather, for Kate McKinnon’s Jeff Sessions. The last week has been a crazy, crazy, crazy one, with Election Day and our president’s wild-even-for-him post-Election meltdown. But there was no way the latest SNL wouldn’t eulogize one of their favorite impersonations: the ousted Attorney General, whose sudden removal the day after the election prompted some very strange mixed feelings pretty much no one thought would be possible.
Once again McKinnon squeezed into that kid’s suit, patch of white hair, and devilish grin to play the controversial Sessions, whose year-and-a-half tenure under Trump has been marked by cruelty and bigotry, right up to the end. McKinnon always played Sessions as a whimsical man-child who knows not the havoc he wreaks. Sessions was shown cleaning out his desk, still wondering where he went wrong.
“I put kids in cages, I said no to gays — what more do you all want?” McKinnon’s Sessions asked when speaking with Beck Bennett’s stolid Mike Pence.
While entertaining visitors, such as Aidy Bryant’s Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the douchey Trump sons, Sessions showed off his office’s eccentric wares: his bible (“I justified a lot of bad things with this book”); his NAACP Ironic Award (their first); a coffee mug with a Confederate flag on it and the words “It’s not about hatred, it’s about heritage” (though inside was a smaller mug that read “It is about hatred”). There was even a stuffed possum that was his grandfather.
All the while, sad piano music periodically chimed in, to really send home the bittersweet nature of Sessions’ firing, which means so long to McKinnon’s inspired impersonation and maybe to Robert Mueller, whose probe into Trump’s possible ties with Russia may either be in jeopardy or may have just gotten the final break it needed.
Speaking of which, following a little song-and-dance number that involved Sessions’ framed picture of Trump (or his still AWOL SNL portrayer Alec Baldwin), Mueller himself swung by to close out the sketch. And once again, he was played by no less than Robert De Niro. “You can’t arrest me, I quit,” Sessions half-joked to him. When De Niro’s Mueller thanked Sessions for his service, Sessions was puzzled.
“What did I do?” Sessions asked him. To which Mueller responded, “More than you’ll ever know.” Hopefully he wasn’t joking.