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The 'SNL' Cold Open Provides Donald Trump a Rare Mirror Into His Presidency

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | February 4, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | February 4, 2017 |

“When the Jews are away, the Goys will play,” Trump says, referring to Jared Kushner leaving him alone on the Sabbath.

Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump essentially reenacts Trump’s last week, freaking out on the Australian Prime Minister and trying to trick the Mexican president into paying for the Mexican wall, before deferring to President Bannon on all other matters.

The thing about these Trump cold opens is that they’re not that funny — it’s impossible to satirize the President*, and everybody knows it — but there’s an extra layer here that makes these work anyway. With Trump watching, we know that he knows he’s being called out. He’s getting a small window into what the Americans, who he actually cares about, think about him. Being surrounded by Yes Men all day, these weekly Cold Opens are the closest thing he gets to a “no,” so they’re satisfying on that level. It’s also the closest thing he gets to a mirror into his Presidency. In order to speak to the President, the public has to resort to relying on SNL.

Also, don’t f*ck with Zimbabwe.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.