Saturday Night Live may have played Donald Trump’s Puerto Rico crisis for laughs in the season premiere’s cold open, but when it came time for Weekend Update, co-anchor Michael Che struck a very different tone.
The segment began expectedly, with Che — in disbelief — reading Trump’s first tweet targeted against San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, in which the president wrote that Democrats “told” Cruz that she “must be nasty to Trump.” Che responded, at first, by ripping apart the tweet with some insult comedy of his own.
“Oh really, Donald? You b—,” he said. “Was she nasty to you? How nasty? Are you shaking? Do you want to go smoke a Virginia Slim until your hand stops moving?”
But Che then turned his attention to the dire situation in Puerto Rico — as of Saturday, only 45 percent of current occupants have drinkable water, 10 percent have cell phone service, and 5 percent have power — and Trump’s refusal to consider the merits of the mayor’s claim that the federal government isn’t doing enough.
“This isn’t that complicated, man, it’s hurricane relief and people need help,” Che explained, addressing the president. “You just did this for white people — twice. Do the same thing: Go tell Melania to put on her flood heels, get some bottled water, some food, pack up some extra Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl T-shirts, and write them a check with our money, you cheap cracker!”
After a roar of approval from the audience, Che brought the segment home. “In one month you have mishandled Puerto Rico, DACA, the NFL,” he concluded. “It’s like when anybody darker than your golf pants has a problem, you’re thinking, ‘How can I make this worse?’”
SNL’s season premiere began with Alec Baldwin reprising his Emmy-winning role as Trump, discussing the situation in Puerto Rico with Mayor Cruz (Melissa Villaseñor) and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Aidy Bryant). “We want to help you,” Baldwin’s Trump says at one point to the mayor, “but we have to take care of America first.” She hangs up on him after trying to explain that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, at which point Trump laments: “That woman was so nasty.”
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