Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller meet as Robert Mueller and Michael Cohen on Saturday Night Live

Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller
Screenshot: Saturday Night Live

On last night’s solid John Mulaney-hosted Saturday Night Live, Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump was nowhere to be seen in his traditional political cold open slot. But Kate McKinnon and Beck Bennett were on hand to take up the slack as Jeff Sessions and Mike Pence, respectively, sweating out the recent FBI raid on Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. (“I’m beginning to regret my wish to become a real boy,” admits McKinnon’s ever opossum-esque Sessions.) As happens whenever a new, impossible-to-ignore figure in our ongoing national nightmare pops up (usually under some scandalous cloud, indictment, or both), the guessing game begins on just who SNL impresario Lorne Michaels is going to tap as the newest celebrity guest impressionist. (Melissa McCarthy, you are missed, even if the actual Sean Spicer is not. At all.)

Well, last night’s show saw Michaels bring in a double-team of ringers in the form of Ben Stiller’s Cohen and the dramatic reveal of Robert De Niro’s Robert Mueller. (In some truly impressive prosthetic jowls.) The resulting sketch took, perhaps, a turn to the crowd-pleasing, as Stiller’s Cohen found himself strapped into a lie detector by De Niro’s tough guy Mueller, in a scene that looked suspiciously familiar to viewers of a particular, trilogy-spawning 2000 comedy. They even did the “I have nipples, can you milk me?” bit, to added cheap seats applause. And while screen legend Robert De Niro is still shockingly bad at reading cue cards, he and Stiller managed to get in a few decent jabs at the House of Trump. (Don Jr. and Eric’s code names are “the two Fredos,” Trump went from Putin’s to Stormy Daniels’ “little bitch,” while the seriously screwed Cohen is known around the office as “Dead Man Walking.”)


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Dennis Perkins

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