This week, Saturday Night Live used its cold open to say goodbye to one of its best caricatures: Kate McKinnon’s elf-like Jeff Sessions. It’s the end of an impersonation that no doubt bothered President Donald Trump, who reportedly does not like his appointees being played by women because it makes them look “weak.”
McKinnon put on her white wig, big suit, and even bigger ears to bid farewell to Sessions as he packed up his office, visited by a cast of well- and not-so-well-wishers: Aidy Bryant’s Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Beck Bennett’s Mike Pence, Mikey Day and Alex Moffat’s Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump with a penis joke. Alec Baldwin’s Trump was still notably absent, but McKinnon’s Sessions held a photo of him close and sang Adele’s “Someone Like You.” “After all we’ve been through, I thought you’d at least say goodbye,” she drawled sadly.
Sessions seemed resigned to his fate, if a bit perplexed: “I don’t understand what I did wrong. ... I put kids in cages. I said no to gays. What more did y’all want?”
And why would Trump hire Whitaker? “He’s just a shady businessman with no experience who’s blindly loyal to Donald Trump — OK, hearing it out loud, that makes sense.”
The jokes came in quick hits as McKinnon’s Sessions packed up his office, putting things in “the box [he] was born in”— one of the last in the show’s long line of digs at Session’s elf-like stature. His office paraphernalia included his “trusty Bible,” with which he “justified a lot of bad things;” a picture of his “family tree,” a literal tree on which he pointed out his room; and a mug with a confederate flag on it reading “It’s not about hatred; it’s about heritage,” (and the smaller mug inside reading “J.K., it is about hatred”). He also packed up a letter from Coretta Scott King calling him “a son of a bitch” and “the ring of keys I would shake to get Mr. Trump’s attention during meetings.”
There was even a surprise appearance by Robert de Niro, reprising his role as Robert Mueller, who stopped by to thank the “weird little dude” for everything he’d done — “more than you’ll ever know” — and offered him a piece of “clothing” to set him free, like a house-elf in Harry Potter.
With Sessions and McKinnon “freed,” now the crew can start considering who will play Sessions’s controversial successor. Whitaker — and his relationship with the president — already seem ripe for the show’s scrutiny.