This week’s SNL cold open had a lot of news and holiday cheer to cram into one brief sketch, and they met the challenge.
Alec Baldwin of course returned as Donald Trump, declining Kate McKinnon as Kellyanne Conway’s invitation to come down to the White House Christmas party, choosing instead taking a moment to think about all he’s accomplished this year (“It’ll only take a minute”). Things take a turn for the Dickensian when in true A Christmas Carol spirit, he is then visited by “The Ghost of Witness Flipped,” Michael Flynn, the sketch’s be-chained Jacob Marley to Donald Trump’s Scrooge.
The second ghost is Billy Bush, reminding him of the Access Hollywood tape and how only one of them suffered career consequences as a result of the tape and the other is president. The third is the ever-shirtless Vladmir Putin. He’s also visited by Melania, asking him to join the party and see her holiday decor, resplendent with “dead branches and mysterious shadows.”
The sketch culminated with a visit from what appeared to be the grim robed form of Steve Bannon, but turned out to be “the scariest one”–Kate McKinnon pulling double duty and returning as Hillary Clinton, shouting “Lock him up!”