Saturday Night Live has gotten a lot of mileage out of sending up It’s a Wonderful Life. In the classic 1980s sketch, they offered the “lost ending,” in which Jimmy Stewart’s George Bailey (Dana Carvey) got his revenge on evil Mr. Potter (Jon Lovitz). For their final episode of 2018, SNL gifted the world with another Wonderful Life send-up, one that imagined a semi-inconvenient truth: The world really would be better if Donald J. Trump wasn’t president, not just for all of us and those whose lives are affected by his cruel policies and threats, but for Trump and everyone around him as well.
Alec Baldwin returned, for only the third time this season, as DJT. It began, as Capra’s (really, really, actually quite dark) Yuletide classic begins: With our hero contemplating the end. Only this time our hero is a commander-in-chief who lost the popular vote and whose one son may be going to jail, with him possibly soon to follow.
“I don’t think I can do this anymore,” The Donald muttered, in a rare fit of despair and self-reflection. He was then visited by kindly angel Clarence (Keenan Thompson), who showed him a wretched, horrible, unsightly alternate universe, one where Trump never was elected president. Joke: Everyone’s much happier — and again, we mean all the people working hard to turns the president’s destructive, reckless, barely-thought-through policies into action.
Chief among those were Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Aidy Bryant), who never took the press secretary job and instead went to work for more reputable places, like Facebook and “The Romaine Lettuce Association.” Kellyanne Conway (Kate McKinnon) looks happy. “That’s because I’m no longer being eaten from the inside!” she shouted. Perhaps happiest of all? Michael Cohen (Ben Stiller), who’s no longer jailbound.
Meanwhile, Melania (Cecil Strong) has no accent; it went away after they divorced, and she realized he was having a deleterious effect on her language skills. And Mike Pence (Beck Bennett)? A swingin’ DJ. Robert De Niro swung by once more to stand around stiffly and obviously read cue cards as Robert Mueller. And host Matt Damon stormed in to reprise his hard partying Brett Kavanaugh — the role he was born to play.
The only downside, at least for Trump? If he’s not president, that means Hillary won. “Did they find her emails,” asked Donald. “Yes, they were all Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons,” was the reply. That was one reason Donald decided to go back to the hellscape we will be living in, possibly until early 2021, possibly earlier, though also possibly longer.