Giving Alec Baldwin a rest, “Saturday Night Live” this weekend instead opened the show with a parody of R. Kelly’s much-talked-about interview with CBS’ Gayle King.
At a replica of Kelly’s Chicago apartment, where King conducted the interview, Kenan Thompson played the singer and accused sexual predator. He said that from his lawyers, he was advised to say no to answering questions on TV, “but my ego was telling me yes.”
He was rebuffed by King (Leslie Jones) when he repeatedly requested, “Please call me victim,” and several times interrupted the questioning to sing his internal thoughts in overdramatic “Trapped in the Closet”-style vignettes.
Much of the sketch was devoted to Kelly demonstrating extreme ignorance with the kind of dumb remarks “SNL” used to ascribe to George W. Bush. In this depiction, Kelly couldn’t count, couldn’t spell and claimed to put on his pants “one sleeve at a time.”
In an allusion to Kelly’s apparent habit of secretly taping sex, the “SNL” Kelly was shown a TV camera and replied, “Y’all just keep y’all camera out in the open like that? Y’all some freaks?”
Naturally, the bit re-created the tense moment when Kelly rose to his feet and paced while delivering an angry outburst. “I gave y’all ‘Trapped in the Closet,’ ” Thompson ranted. ” ‘ Feelin’ on Yo Booty!’ ‘Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number!’ And so many other clues!”
That prompted cast member Chris Redd (another Chicagoan) to burst in as Kelly’s crisis manager, delivering an upbeat pep talk and giving his boss a makeup touch-up, a bottle of water and a cup to spit in, like a beaten-down boxer’s cornerman. At scene’s end, we learned why Kelly showed up for the conversation: Instead of recognizing Gayle King, he thought she was someone who could free him: the “Jail King.”