Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Rich white man takes credit for jack shit

Illustration for article titled Rich white man takes credit for jack shit
Screenshot: Hulu/NBC

Oh, shut the fuck up, dude.

The screenshot above is of the goodnights sequence of this weekend’s Saturday Night Live, in which Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump impression got its last airing, thank the gods. You can watch it below, if you really want to.

Not all jokes have to work. Not all impressions have to be good. And while it may not seem like it, Saturday Night Live does not have to be a one-stop shop for famous people impersonating political figures. For every time Tina Fey sees Russia from her house and Melissa McCarthy tools around behind her wheeled White House briefing room podium, there are quite a few duds. That’s okay. That’s fine. The odds of anyone turning to SNL for wall-to-wall comic excellence these days are pretty slim. But for fuck’s sake, don’t christen yourself a savior of the republic for pursing your lips for four years, my dude.

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Seriously, forgive us for breaking the fourth wall a bit here, but what the actual fuck?

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Here’s what our own SNL oracle, Dennis Perkins, had to say about that garbage:

These sketches—and I know they are popular—damaged Saturday Night Live. Not just because they sucked, though they almost unfailingly did. But because it showed SNL’s whole ass when it comes to how willing it is to settle for popular and newsworthy instead of having anything to say. During the goodnights, a disheveled Baldwin appeared holding up a cue card that read, “You’re welcome.” Epic trolling to his many critics aside (message received, Mr. Baldwin), the gesture is emblematic of SNL’s whole attitude toward these sketches. There, we gave you what you want. You’re welcome.

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That read on it is really smart and somehow makes it worse.

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Seriously, Alec Baldwin did more to preserve our democracy when he said, “What am I, a farmer?” than he did in the last five years on SNL. At least that scene includes a solid joke about estate tax reform.

There is exactly one charitable interpretation of Baldwin’s smug little sign: He bought Lucy a birthday present. Because it’s Lucy’s birthday that really makes this garbage sing. Maya Rudolph, also a big star, is not holding a sign that says “you’re welcome” for playing Kamala Harris. (We assume Lucy is Rudolph’s daughter, Lucille.) She’s holding a sign that says “Happy birthday Lucy!!!!” with several cheery exclamation points, and Baldwin is holding one that says, “You’re welcome.”

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Here is our headcanon, should you wish to make this image palatable: Maybe Alec Baldwin bought Lucy a really nice set of K’Nex or, like, a puppy or something for her birthday. So he’s not saying, “Hey America, I know millions of people volunteered their time and money to help elect a non-fascist as President, and I know thousands of organizers spent countless hours working to get out the vote and make sure that the ballots were counted, and I know election officials have gotten death threats and that Stacey Abrams helped turn a whole damn state blue and that voters stood in line for hours and hours and postal workers literally put their health on the line to make sure mail-in ballots were delivered safely, but I wore a wig on television some weeks, so really, you’re welcome.”

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Maybe he’s saying, “Hope you like the K’Nex and the puppy.” Maybe. But probably not.

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

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Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!

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