Ben Stiller returned to Saturday Night Live and reprised his role as Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer and fixer who gave bombshell testimony before Congress earlier this week.
After a two-week hiatus, the NBC variety show poked fun at the spectacle of Cohen’s dramatic day of testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.
SNL alum Bill Hader returned to the show to depict Republican Congressman Jim Jordan.
Kate McKinnon introduced a new character on Saturday, depicting House Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
The committee chairman, Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, was portrayed by Kenan Thompson.
The sketch begins with a dig at C-SPAN, the cable channel which broadcasts Congressional and political programming.
Ben Stiller (left) returned to Saturday Night Live and reprised his portrayal of Michael Cohen (right), President Trump’s former lawyer and fixer
‘You’re watching C-SPAN,’ the announcer says matter of factly, only to correct himself and ask with astonishment: ‘You’re watching C-SPAN?’
The scene then jumps to the House Oversight Committee, with Cummings presiding.
‘I would like to get this hearing under way,’ Cummings says, banging on his gavel.
‘I want this to stay professional. Okay?
‘If you hear something outrageous, please do not “Ooh” and “Awe.” This is not “Married with children.”’
Cummings also jokes that ‘all anyone cares about anymore’ is ‘a performance by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.’
In real life, the New York congresswoman has generated a great deal of attention because of her upset victory and her considerable presence on social media.
Cummings then turns his attention to the hearing.
‘Now, for any other president, this hearing would be the most damning and humiliating moment of their lives, but for Trump it’s just Wednesday,’ he says.
Stiller’s Cohen then takes center stage.
Cummings corrects Cohen when he mistakenly refers to him as ‘your honor.’
Cohen then begins to read his statement, which he says he wrote with ‘some help from the guys who wrote Green Book.’
Green Book, a controversial film about racism in the American South, is the film which won the Academy Award for Best Picture last weekend.
‘Thank you for inviting me here today to correct the record under oath,’ Cohen says.
‘Of course, the first time I testified was also under oath. But this time, I like really mean it.’
In real life, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress. He has been sentenced to three years in prison.
‘I’m here today to tell you that Mr. Trump is a racist,’ Cohen tells the committee on SNL.
He then pauses, only to hear silence in return.
‘Wow,’ Cohen says. ‘I thought that would get a really much bigger reaction.’
He continues: ‘But he’s also a con man and a cheat. And to prove it I’m providing the committee today with several documents.’
Cohen then produces a copy of the check the Trump Organization wrote to Cohen as reimbursement for the hush money he paid to Stormy Daniels, the porn star who alleges she had an affair with Trump more than a decade ago.
Cohen then shows the ‘check’ that he wrote to Daniels. It includes cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Tazmanian Devil, and others.
‘Love the boobs!’ he writes on the ‘check.’
Cohen also includes the ‘letter’ he sent to Trump’s high school ‘warning them not to release his SAT scores.’
The ‘letter’ is really a children’s drawing of a chicken with a speech bubble that reads in poor handwriting: ‘I’ll f*****g kill you.’
‘In conclusion, I know that I was wrong. And I know it, ’cause I got caught,’ Cohen says.
He continues: ‘For too many years, I was loyal to a man when I should not have been. Now I know how Khloe Kardashian feels.’
In real life, Khloe Kardashian ended her relationship with Tristan Thompson, the NBA player, after he was said to have cheated on her.
Cohen then continues reading from his statement, which includes the lyrics to Torn, the 1997 pop song by singer Natalie Imbruglia.
‘But now, I’m all out of faith. This is how I feel. I’m cold. And I’m ashamed.
‘Lying naked on the floor. Illusion never changed into something real.
‘I’m wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is torn.’
The hearing then moves toward the questioning phase – or, as Cummings put it, the part where ‘Republicans can get angry at everyone except the president.’
Hader then appears as Jordan, the Ohio congressman and vocal Trump supporter.
‘Good afternoon to you, you lying piece of human trash!’ Jordan yells at Cohen.
Cohen replies: ‘Thank you, I really appreciate that.’
An angry Jordan launches into a tirade, saying: ‘I’m angry that I have to sit here through this two-bit dirt bag flee circus.
‘I’m so angry I couldn’t even wear a jacket today.’
Jordan then tells Cohen: ‘You know something, Mr. Cohen. I’ve never even heard of you!’
To which Cohen replies: ‘Your mother has.’
An indignant Jordan then asks Cohen: ‘You have been working in some of the sleaziest circles in America for years. What other criminals and lowlifes have you worked for?’
Cohen replies: ‘I was the deputy finance chairman for the Republican party, sir.’
‘What? Is that true?’ Jordan says. ‘Oh, damn it. The yield of the rest of my time.’
Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who is portrayed by SNL cast member Heidi Gardner, decided to yield her time back to Jordan ‘so he can continue digging his own grave.’
‘Mr. Cohen, why are we supposed to believe you now? I mean, you lied about Trump being a good guy. You lied about Trump not committing any crimes. You lied about Trump not wait, damn it, I think I shot myself in the foot again…’ Jordan says.
Jordan then yields the floor to Wasserman Schultz, played by McKinnon.
‘Yes, hello. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Hold for groans. Hold for groans,’ Wasserman Schultz says, alluding to the congresswoman’s lack of popularity nationwide.
‘Mr. Cohen, for this portion of the hearing, I would like us both to lean into our New York accents so hard, that our viewers will think they’re stuck line at Zabar’s. Is that all right?’
To which Cohen replies: ‘Forget about it.’
While Wasserman Schultz represents the 23rd Congressional District, she is originally from Forest Hills, Queens.
Cohen, in real life, is a native of Long Island.
Zabar’s is a well known specialty food store on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Wasserman Schultz then yields the floor to Jordan ‘as a prank on him’ in anticipation that he will once again say something to undermine Trump.
Jordan, once again, notes how federal prosecutors said Cohen ‘appears to have lost his moral compass’ and ‘pled guilty to a smorgasbord of fraudulent activity.’
Cohen then says: ‘Right after that it says “at the direction of President Trump”.’
An astonished Jordan replies: ‘It does? Oh, damn it. Come back to me.’
SNL then pokes fun at Rep. Paul Gosar, the Republican from Arizona, who is played by cast member Kyle Mooney.
Gosar is spoofed for his awkward speaking style and stuttering.
He was also mocked for posting the sign which read: ‘Liar, liar, pants are fire.’
When Cohen doesn’t understand what Gosar is saying, the congressman replies incoherently: ‘If you lie, pants are fire. If you truth, pants are goof.’
Cohen then asks: ‘Do you need medical attention?’
SNL then takes aim at what was perhaps the most controversial moment of the Cohen hearing.
Mark Meadows, the congressman from North Carolina, sought to refute Cohen’s claim that Trump was a racist.
So he brought Lynne Patton, a former Trump employee who is now working for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, to the hearing.
He was then criticized for doing so by Democrats, who accused him of using a ‘token black friend.’
On SNL, Meadows brought on a black woman, but then mistakenly referred to her as ‘Omarosa.’
Omarosa is a reference to Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former star of the reality TV show The Apprentice who joined the Trump administration but was fired.
The sketch ends with Cohen saying: ‘Look, maybe I’m not a good person. Maybe I’m a liar. Maybe I’m a fool. Maybe I ruined hundreds of people’s lives.’
Cummings then asks if there’s another part of the statement, to which Cohen replies: ‘No, there isn’t. Thank you.’