Comedian Steve Martin returned to Saturday Night Live this week to portray Roger Stone as a man on the brink of desperation: He needs cash, or better yet, a presidential pardon.
Stone, a scandal-prone political operative and self-proclaimed “dirty trickster,” was arrested early Friday morning and charged with seven counts connected to the investigation brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. And in the SNL rendition of the ordeal for the longtime adviser to President Donald Trump, Stone is jacked up on his own publicity.
The cold open sketch puts Stone in the interview chair with Fox News host Tucker Carlson (played by SNL cast member Alex Moffat), who throws softball questions to make his guest come off as a sympathetic victim. Martin instead mocks Stone for being a “broke … feeble old man” who is drowning in legal fees and can’t get anyone to buy his books (“because they’re bad!”).
“Just tell people how they can donate money to help you,” Carlson says.
“I set up a donation pageant based on a phrase people have been yelling at me: ‘Hey, Roger, go fund yourself!’” Stone replies.
SNL is once again dipping into its deep well of celebrity cameos to lambaste a news cycle so ridiculous that it hardly requires parody — Martin has hosted the show 15 times, second only to Alec Baldwin, and he frequently returns for bit roles, like his rendition of Stone. And for yet another cold open, cast member Kate McKinnon is back to emasculate members of Trump’s Cabinet, this time dressing up as out-of-touch billionaire Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Over the course of the parody interview, Stone vacillates between treating his indictment as the best thing that’s ever happened to him (“What a fun couple of days, I’m lovin’ the ride!”), to saying the FBI raid on his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was deeply “harrowing.” And because Fox News is Trump’s cable network of choice, and it’s clear he’s always watching, Stone has a message that he knows the president will hear.
“Pardon me?” Stone says before his sign-off.
“I said, thank you,” Carlson responds.
“Oh, no. That wasn’t a question,” Stone fires back, “I was saying that to the president: Pardon me!”