'SNL' hits a comedic nerve with its Trump/Sopranos skit

"Saturday Night Live's" season finale once again served up an opening political sketch that told the truth while maki...

Posted: May 21, 2018 12:46 PM
Updated: May 21, 2018 12:46 PM

"Saturday Night Live's" season finale once again served up an opening political sketch that told the truth while making us laugh. This time, the iconic show ended its 43rd season with a parody of the famed last scene from "The Sopranos" series finale, where Tony Soprano sat at a diner surrounded by his family as a man glared at him from nearby.

This SNL sketch worked because its use of "The Sopranos" finale rings true. In many ways, the Trump world looks and feels like a crime family. Just consider how many people in Trump's orbit have pleaded guilty, are under indictment or are being actively investigated.

In the case of SNL's cold open, Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) was surrounded by Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr. and Michael Cohen. And while the song "Don't Stop Believin'" blared, just like in "The Sopranos" finale, Trump and his friends' conversation was eerily reminiscent of the dialogue we'd expect from a crime family. Of course, "SNL" isn't the first to make that comparison: Former FBI Director James Comey did as much in his book, "A Higher Loyalty."

Take Giuliani, played by SNL's Kate McKinnon, who boasted to Trump about his recent Fox News appearances, "I told them you were openly colluding with Russia, but then I ended with: So What!" Adding, "I even confessed to some crimes you didn't do, then I said, 'What are you gonna do, arrest the President? I dare ya!'"

Ben Stiller as Cohen then shared with Trump his concerns about going to prison: "They say I might do 20 years unless I give you up." To which Trump responded in a Tony Soprano-esque gruff way, "I've heard jail's fun. It's like camp -- plus there's a free gym; dude, you're gonna get so jacked!"

And then true to the original Sopranos scene, in walks a menacing figure who looks squarely at Trump. But this time, instead of an unknown man in a Members Only jacket, we see Robert Mueller in a dark gray suit, played by Robert De Niro. Just as Mueller is unnerving Trump in real life, as evidenced by his countless tweets about the Mueller "witch hunt," "SNL's" Trump is also clearly haunted by Mueller, asking his table mates: "Am I the only one who sees that guy?" The sketch ends with Mueller walking by Trump's table and motioning to him: "I've got my eyes on you."

But, in actuality, it looks like the real Mueller, so far, has his eyes focused on others in the Trump world. Just look at the "Trump family" and the long list of criminal charges and suspicious activities.

There's Trump's longtime lawyer and fixer, Cohen, whose offices, home and hotel were raided by the FBI in April and who is under investigation by the Department of Justice for his business dealings. Add to that, we recently learned that Cohen was paid millions by companies that wanted access to Trump, including those with business before the Trump administration.

Then there's Michael Flynn. Trump's one-time national security adviser and a visible Trump campaign surrogate, who ironically led the chant of "Lock her up" at the Republican National Convention in 2016, pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador.

Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in January 2017 about his efforts to obtain information from Russian operatives to help the Trump campaign. Trump's former deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates pleaded guilty in February 2018 to financial fraud and lying to federal investigators.

Paul Manafort, who joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 and later became campaign manager, is under indictment on numerous counts of financial improprieties -- though none has, so far, been linked to the Trump campaign. (Manafort has denied the charges and entered a plea of not guilty.)

And let's not forget Donald Trump Jr., whose June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Russians -- which he says was prompted by a Russian lawyer who was said to be offering dirt on Hillary Clinton -- may constitute a violation of federal election laws, if there is any evidence he then accepted or conspired to accept a contribution or "thing of value" from a foreign national. (Trump Jr., although issuing contradictory statements about the true nature of this meeting when news of it first broke, has denied wrongdoing.)

Add to that, The New York Times reported on Saturday that Trump Jr. met three months before the November 2016 election in Trump Tower with an emissary for two wealthy Arab princes and an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation who offered to help the Trump campaign. While these meetings may not be a crime, I bet even Tony Soprano would say: "You gotta be f**king kidding me?!"

Since "The Sopranos" signed off 11 years ago with a sudden switch to a black screen, a debate has raged over whether Tony Soprano escaped harm or was killed by the unknown man in the jacket. In the case of the "Trump family," a similar question is being debated: Will Trump escape unscathed, or will he be brought to justice by the man in the dark gray suit?

Terre Haute
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 72°
Robinson
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 73°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 76°
Rockville
Scattered Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 73°
Casey
Broken Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 79°
Brazil
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 72°
Marshall
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 72°
Partly sunny with a chance of pop-up showers
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Sunday Morning Forecast Update

Image

Saturday Morning Forecast Update

Image

Ryan Lieberman

Image

Zoe Stewart

Image

WVFCA Friday Night Lights

Image

Tim Hayes

Image

Keeping your house cooler without running the A.C. all day

Image

Several local groups partner to help you learn new job skills

Image

Duke Energy says scammers have a new tactic to steal your information, and it involves refund checks

Image

Richland County sees an increase in young people contracting COVID-19

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 154094

Reported Deaths: 7369
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook951384711
Lake10318428
DuPage9641485
Kane8078281
Will7223325
Winnebago3156105
St. Clair2265144
McHenry2248102
Kankakee141466
Unassigned1180201
Rock Island116930
Madison116770
Kendall104823
Champaign103817
Peoria64430
DeKalb63720
Boone63521
Sangamon51933
Jackson35119
McLean31515
Randolph3107
Ogle2964
Stephenson2836
LaSalle25417
Macon25022
Clinton24717
Whiteside20915
Union20519
Grundy1935
Coles19017
Iroquois1755
Tazewell1728
Knox1680
Adams1671
Monroe15513
Williamson1554
Warren1490
Cass1388
Morgan1343
Jefferson11417
Henry1111
McDonough10615
Lee1052
Vermilion892
Pulaski840
Marion770
Montgomery731
Macoupin673
Douglas610
Perry611
Jo Daviess541
Livingston542
Christian504
Jasper477
Woodford462
Franklin450
Ford421
Clark400
Jersey401
Bureau372
Menard310
Effingham301
Cumberland290
Mercer290
Johnson270
Washington250
Alexander240
Fayette243
Mason240
Moultrie240
Wabash230
Piatt210
Bond201
Carroll202
Crawford200
Hancock201
Logan200
Shelby201
Edgar190
De Witt180
Wayne181
Fulton160
Massac160
Saline160
Schuyler130
Lawrence120
Marshall120
Brown100
White100
Richland90
Greene80
Henderson80
Hamilton70
Gallatin60
Pike60
Stark60
Clay50
Edwards50
Hardin20
Calhoun10
Pope10
Putnam10
Scott10
Out of IL00

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
Kosciusko5754
Marshall5449
Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
Delaware47152
Hancock46736
Shelby45425
Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Vigo2528
Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
Miami1932
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1649
Wayne1546
Daviess15017
Perry14710
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1352
Ripley1307
Franklin1278
Gibson1202
Wabash1162
Carroll1142
Fayette1067
Whitley1066
Starke1043
Newton10010
Huntington942
Jefferson862
Wells821
Randolph794
Fulton731
Knox710
Jay700
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush613
Posey570
Spencer541
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193