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Michael Keaton drops by as Julian Assange to help SNL roast the latest celebrity jailbirds

Michael Keaton, Kyle Mooney, Kate McKinnon, Chris Redd, Kenan Thompson, Pete Davidson
Screenshot: Saturday Night Live

Last night’s Emma Stone-hosted Saturday Night Live saw Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump sabbatical continue, with a cold open instead focusing on some other high-profile miscreants played by visiting celebrity royalty. In a sketch parodying MSNBC’s roster of behind bars reality voyeurism, the kickoff sketch saw Kate McKinnon’s Lori Loughlin (mail fraud, money laundering, college admissions rich person chicanery), Pete Davidson’s satanically slimy Michael Avenatti (even more lawyerly shadiness than you suspected), and Melissa Villaseñor’s Tekashi 6ix9ine (“just robbery and gun stuff”) all sharing the same cell for their misdeeds. Each vied for the baddest new kid on the cell block by boasting of their well-documented crimes, with Loughlin coming out on top by not only bribing her way into the local Nation Of Islam gang but boasting to her cowed cellmates that’s she’s been through a TV wringer that would drive anyone beyond the brink. (“I’ve been in 68 Hallmark movies,” McKinnon’s Loughlin sneered to shaken prisoner Chris Redd, “I’ve seen hell!”) She also has a toothbrush shank for anyone who plays that Aunt Becky shit.

But the undisputed king of the crazies turned out to be the sketch’s biggest surprise, as a bearded, nigh-unrecognizable Michael Keaton emerged as newly incarcerated Wikileaks founder and “actual James Bond supervillain” Julian Assange. Cornering tough-talking con Kyle Mooney, Keaton’s crazy-eyed Assange threatened Mooney with the worst fate of all—his internet search history, dick pics, and that folder of Shark Tank pitches. “You wanna know how crazy I am?,” asked Keaton’s Assange gleefully, “I’m wanted in the U.S. and Sweden, I’m from Australia, I live in London, in Ecuador—you try figuring that one out.” And if Keaton’s Assange didn’t have the mellifluously accented evil purr of Bill Hader’s, he at least brought a Batman quote to the party. After all, Assange will, as the cleaning staff of the Ecuadorian embassy can attest, get nuts.


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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.