‘Saturday Night Live’ Reacts to the Derek Chauvin Trial


After two weeks of testimony, the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former officer charged in the death of George Floyd, has gripped viewers — including the hosts of a fictional news program on “Saturday Night Live,” who drew very different conclusions from what they’d seen.

This weekend, “S.N.L.” began with a sendup of a local midday show, called “Eye on Minnesota” and hosted by Ego Nwodim, Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon and Alex Moffat.

Reacting to the case so far, Nwodim said, “Watching this trial brought back so many bad feelings from last summer.”

Moffat supportively added, “The video footage alone should tell you everything you need to know about what happened. And hopefully justice will be served.”

McKinnon said, “Sounds like we all agree — there’s no way Derek Chauvin walks away from this.”

With an immediate, knowing skepticism, Nwodim and Thompson both replied, “Welllllll—”

Nwodim remarked that the defense’s attempt “to make a case that George Floyd’s drug use was somehow responsible is just deplorable.”

Thompson added, “It was a clear act of desperation to create doubt where there is none.”

“Exactly,” McKinnon said, “and there’s no way the jury’s going to fall for that.”

Once again, Thompson and Nwodim did not share in this certainty.

Moffat asked them, “What are you guys trying to say?”

Thompson answered, “Look, y’all seem like good people.”

Nwodim added, “Let’s just say we’ve seen this movie before.”

McKinnon tried to offer encouragement. “I think skepticism of the legal process is valid,” she said. “Historically, police have gotten away in other cases like this.”

Thompson asked Nwodim, “Historically?” Nwodim answered, “She means every single time.”

Moffat tried more emphatically to elicit some optimism. “You guys can at least admit this country has made a lot of progress recently,” he said.

“For who?” Thompson asked.

“When?” Nwodim asked.

There was agreement from the white co-hosts when Nwodim said, “There’s a glaring discrepancy in the way Black people are treated by police.” And again when Thompson said, “We need concrete solutions to fix these problems.”

But Moffat balked when Nwodim added, “And we start with reparations.”

“I thought I had him,” she said to Thompson.

As their program moved onto other news, McKinnon said, “Unfortunately, we lost royalty yesterday.”

“Yes,” Nwodim said. “The rapper DMX died.”

Correcting her, McKinnon said, “The Prince.”

Nwodim replied, “Girl, Prince been dead.”

Over at the Weekend Update desk, the anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che riffed on the scandals surrounding Representative Matt Gaetz and on the opposition to Georgia’s new voting law.

Jost began:

Well, our favorite Florida congressman, Matt Gaetz is back in the news. But this time it’s good. I’m kidding — it’s still the sex stuff. Matt Gaetz, who looks like all the dudes from “American Pie” combined, reportedly sent $900 on Venmo to an alleged sex trafficker, who then forwarded that same exact amount to three young women in payments labeled “Tuition” and “School.” Which, if true, would make him the only congressman actually helping with student loans. But at least Gaetz is taking the allegations seriously. That’s why yesterday he at spoke at the Women For America First summit. Which is a nice change to see women pay for an hour with Matt Gaetz. My favorite moment was when Gaetz pointed out how much support he’s getting from other politicians. [He played video of Gaetz saying, “This past week has been full of encouragement, from President Trump, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Jim Jordan.”] Oh, no. Oh, no. Did he say those were good character references? Who was next on his list, the ghost of Jeffrey Epstein?

Che continued:

Senator Mitch McConnell, seen here watching a child get into a stranger’s van, denounced corporations opposing Georgia’s new voting law, saying that they should “stay out of politics” Coincidentally, “stay out of politics” is also Georgia’s new rule for Black people.

Though it understandably did not lack for attention when it was first announced, the Spotify podcast “Renegades: Born in the USA,” which offers discussions between former President Obama and Bruce Springsteen, left some of its listeners cold.

Still, in this “Weekend Update” segment, the hosts tried to make the case that they were perfectly adept at this off-the-cuff medium. Beck Bennett played an upbeat if somewhat mumbly Springsteen and Chris Redd played Obama, who is certain that he is an excellent conversationalist, holding forth on mundane topics like his discovering a box of strawberries on the sidewalk.

A perplexed Che told them, “For such interesting people, it kind of sounded like just two guys talking.” Bennett replied to him, “That’s a podcast.”



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