‘S.N.L.’: BTS Performs, Emma Stone Hosts, and Julian Assange Joins Lori Loughlin in Jail

For a second consecutive week, “Saturday Night Live” avoided taking aim at President Trump and his administration in the show’s opening sketch. In fact, the sketch wasn’t even particularly political. (But don’t worry, there was still a surprise celebrity guest.)

Beginning with a fake voice-over for MSNBC — “Now that the Mueller report turned out to be a big fat zero, we’re back to prison shows” — the sketch set up an episode of “Lockup: Chino Correctional Facility,” in which inmates played by Chris Redd, Kyle Mooney and Kenan Thompson boasted about the crimes that had put them behind bars.

Enter Kate McKinnon, playing the actress Lori Loughlin. “Oh yeah?” McKinnon told the gang. “You think that’s insane? I paid 500 grand to get my daughter into U.S.C.”

She added: “That’s not including the 300 grand I blew on tuition.”

(She also said she owned the prison guards because “I helped their kids get into a really competitive pre-K,” and boasted that she was a Nation of Islam member because she’d “bought my way in for 100 grand.”)

Next in the prison cell was Pete Davidson playing the lawyer Michael Avenatti, who was indicted this week on dozens of charges.

“I’m accused of crimes you can’t even conceive of,” he told the other inmates. “Like blackmailing a sneaker company. And stealing taxes from a coffee shop to fund a racecar team. I’m so shady that a porn star once said that she needs to distance herself from me.”

He said he still planned to run for president, announcing his ticket as “Avenatti Baldwin 2020.”

Played by Michael Keaton wearing a long white beard, the next prisoner to show up was the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who was arrested in London on Thursday.

“I’m the architect of anarchy,” Keaton declared. “I’m the king of chaos. I’m the scourge of the cleaning staff at the Ecuadorean Embassy.”

“Here’s how crazy I am,” he explained. “I’m wanted in the U.S. and Sweden; I’m from Australia; I live in London, in Ecuador — you try figuring that one out.”

Keaton added: “I’m an actual James Bond super villain, and I’m one step away from destroying the [expletive] moon. So, you want to get nuts? Come on, let’s get nuts!

For good measure, Melissa Villaseñor appeared in the sketch as the rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, explaining that she was in prison for less interesting reasons.

“Just robbery and gun stuff,” she said.

“S.N.L.” has been sending up “The View” since time immemorial, and this week it returned to the scene of that ABC daytime show. Leslie Jones played the host Whoopi Goldberg (“I’m as surprised as you that this show is a fit for me”), while Cecily Strong and Villaseñor played her round-table partners Abby Huntsman and Ana Navarro. But the sketch focused mainly on the recent bickering between the hosts Joy Behar (McKinnon) and Meghan McCain (Aidy Bryant).

As Bryant declared in a meandering rant: “Can I just say something? As the princess of Arizona, there is a crisis at the border, and the border is right up in my Arizona, which was founded on sunburned women selling turquoise jewelry, not rando Mexicans. And that’s not racist, because my makeup artist is gay.”

The night’s host, Emma Stone, played the former “View” host Jenny McCarthy, who has been an outspoken critic of vaccinations.

“I don’t believe in vaccinations,” she said. “My doctor is Google; my scientist, Twitter; and my religion is Donnie Wahlberg.”

At the “Weekend Update” desk, the anchors continued to riff on Assange’s arrest and on President Trump’s announcement that his administration was considering releasing migrants detained at the border into so-called sanctuary cities.

“WikiLeaks founder and reason I put tape over my computer camera, Julian Assange, was arrested at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, and this dude did not go quietly,” the anchor Colin Jost began. A video played of the arrest, in which Assange shouts, “The U.K. has no civility!”

Jost resumed:

That is not how you’re typically removed from an embassy. That’s how you’re removed from the F train. But it was so satisfying to see an internet troll get dragged out into the sunlight. Like, you can be lord of darkness on the internet, but when seven cops have you pinned to the sidewalk, you can’t be like, “I summon the power of emails!”

Jost went on to note that Trump had been asked about Assange’s arrest, showing a video in which the president says: “I know nothing, really, about him. It’s not my deal in life.”

“What is your deal in life?” Jost asked. “I’m just genuinely curious, since you brought it up. Also, you cannot say that WikiLeaks is not your deal, because at some point it was like your whole deal.”

Playing numerous clips in which Trump praised WikiLeaks, Jost responded with a reference to the night’s musical guest, a Korean boy band: “You’re more obsessed with WikiLeaks than this audience is with BTS.”

The anchor Michael Che picked up the Trump thread:

President Trump is considering releasing detained immigrants into sanctuary cities to send a message to Democrats. What’s the message? Have some more voters? Yeah, man, that’ll show ’em. I don’t know how they’re going to handle a bunch of immigrants in a city like … New York. You can’t scare us with more immigrants. That just means faster Ubers and more Elmos.

“Or, maybe he should send immigrants to New York,” Che continued, prompting an image of Trump Tower. “I know a huge building on Fifth Avenue where nobody wants to live anymore.”

This week’s show featured performances by BTS, the first K-pop band to play on “Saturday Night Live.”

If you’re wondering why their fans spent days camped outside NBC headquarters or why “S.N.L.” audience members burst into hoots, screams and applause any time the band’s name was mentioned, watch the video above, in which BTS performs “Boy With Luv” from its new album, “Map of the Soul: Persona.”

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