United Airlines outcry, host Jimmy Fallon give ‘SNL’ a bump

SHARE United Airlines outcry, host Jimmy Fallon give ‘SNL’ a bump

Jimmy Fallon as Jared Kushner and Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live” on April 15, 2017. | NBC

“Saturday Night Live” didn’t even wait until Weekend Update before bringing up one of Chicago’s most talked-about news stories this week.

An early sketch on Saturday’s episode had host Jimmy Fallon serenading Cecily Strong with Savage Garden’s “Truly Madly Deeply” to win her back after committing some mysterious misdeed that wrecked their relationship. When he finally rapped it up by bending on one knee to propose, her answer was, “NO, Doug! You DRAGGED A MAN off a plane this week!”

The studio audience responded with one of the biggest roars of the night.

As always happens when Fallon hosts, the “Tonight Show” frontman gave himself a relentless workload. In the opening sketch — usually skipped by the host — Fallon played Jared Kushner, wordlessly charming his way deeper into the good graces of President Trump (Alec Baldwin, natch.) On a high-concept “Family Feud” parody that pitted modern stars against celebs from 1977, each team had John Travolta, and Fallon played the actor both in his “Welcome Back, Kotter” days and his current “The People vs. O.J. Simpson” stature. It was a demonstration of both great mimicry — the two Travoltas were both accurate and very different — and costume quick changes. At one point Fallon failed to stay out of frame during his mad dash from one mark to the other.

The night also brought the return of Melissa McCarthy as White House press secretary Sean Spicer, crashing the annual Easter egg roll in a bunny suit to apologize again for his misstatements about the Holocaust and give a Passover lesson with Veggie Tales dolls.

Melissa McCarthy plays Sean Spicer, ready for Easter. | NBC

Melissa McCarthy plays Sean Spicer, ready for Easter. | NBC

“It would be really great,” this Spicer said, “if the nitpickers would try to see the big picture instead of focusing on every little slur and lie I say. That’d be nice!”

Also making a cameo: cast alum Rachel Dratch, now part of the ensemble on ABC’s “Imaginary Mary.” She and Fallon reprised their Boston characters Denise and Sully, introduced in 1999 as teens but now tagging along as their brainiac daughter (Kate McKinnon) tours Harvard. In a backstage video on Twitter, Fallon said the scene was written by Dratch and Tina Fey, who originated the routine back in their Second City days.

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