Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski confirmed their audience’s suspicions when they announced their engagement this week.
They must have known a Saturday Night Live skewering was coming.
The sketch comedy standby has been off for several weeks, and a lot has happened since then: health care mayhem, Trump’s bizarre comments about Andrew Jackson and the Civil War, heightened tensions with North Korea, and the French election. (The list could go on.) Saturday’s episode, hosted by Chris Pine, had an awful lot of material to work with.
For the cold open, the episode opted for a sketch that worked on two levels: skewering the Morning Joe pair’s famously cringe-y years of on-air flirting — now that their status as an item is confirmed — as well as bringing in the inescapable character whom everyone, including Alec Baldwin, wishes he could stop playing.
Kate McKinnon and Alex Moffat play Joe and Mika as they discuss the passage of the AHCA through the House of Representatives, while simultaneously making everyone else want to crawl through the floor.
Mika declares to Joe (a former Republican Congress member), “Your party is completely morally bankrupt!” But their bickering turns to more than one kind of heat when Joe tells her to stop — “you know it pushes my buttons” — and Mika gets that look in her eyes. “Does it? Push your buttons?” she says. And then they move toward one another, inexorably, as if the electromagnet between them is slowly cranking up.
Cut away to Bobby Moynihan playing columnist Mike Barnicle, who looks like he’d rather be literally anywhere else.
The sketch continues apace, with the pair squicking out Mark Halperin (Beck Bennett) and Willie Geist (Mikey Day) with their not at all subtle nationally broadcasted foreplay (“Mika-mouse! You’re being a little stinker, Mikaboo. You’re being a little stinker. It’s not gonna work”), until they’re alerted to a call from someone very close to Trump who wants to talk about the AHCA. A guy named John Miller.
Naturally, it’s Alec Baldwin’s Trump voice on the line, wishing them a happy “Cinco de Mayo,” pronounced like it’s short for mayonnaise. (SNL didn’t make this up; for decades, Trump actually did call reporters, pretending to be his own publicist so he could brag on himself — and John Miller was one of the names he used, along with John Barron.)
In the sketch, Trump — er, Miller — brags about the repeal of Obamacare, until Joe and Mika stop him to remind him that the bill has to pass the Senate. “They might even rewrite the entire thing, if they pass it at all,” they tell him.
“But there was beer,” “Miller” replies in a voice that can only be described as crestfallen.
After the president hangs up, Mika snaps back into action, declaring the man is mentally ill and has entered a state of psychosis. Joe tells her to stop being naughty. The guests look on in horror. And Mika gently bites Joe’s nose.
It turns out the real repeal and replace ... was love.