SNL's Weekend Update mocks whitewashed Republican convention

  • Skits included Trumpemon Go, a game to spot a rarity at RNC – a minority
  • MSNBC’s Chris Matthews has ‘cringeworthy’ interview with SNL’s Michael Che

The cast of Saturday Night Live took on the Republican national convention, lampooning speakers and issues of diversity at the event.

Michael Che and Colin Jost hosted a special version of their Weekend Update segment on Wednesday night after the speeches.

In a skit filmed earlier in the day, Che spoofed the ubiquitous game Pokémon Go with Trumpemon Go. The object? “Catch the rarest creature of them all: minorities at the RNC,” he said. “Let’s round up some brown people!”

Che meandered around the convention hall attempting to catch a black “Cowbro” in a 10-gallon hat from the Texas delegation, a black man with a selfie stick and Willie Robertson from Duck Dynasty, claiming: “This amish dude isn’t a minority?”

In interviews with attendees, Che asked if they saw any “rare minorities” wandering around. One woman hesitantly answered that she thought she saw some Hawaiians, and another man walked away.

The pair also joked about the D-list roster of celebrity speakers. “If this was the season finale of the apprentice, [Trump] would have fired himself,” Che said.

No speaker escaped unscathed, as they ripped into Rudy Giuliani for his hand gestures, Chris Christie for his ethical stance, Melania Trump for her plagiarism, as well as Ben Carson and Ted Cruz.

“She really hit it out of the park before a strong wind blew it back into the stadium for an easy out,” Jost said of Trump’s speech, which has paragraphs taken from a speech by Michelle Obama from when the first lady spoke at the Democratic national convention in 2008.

A repeated, wry joke seemed to be confusing Che for other black men. “Do you know who I am?” he asked an attendee in a cowboy hat. “Yes, I know you’re Jay Pharaoh,” he replied. Later in the show, Kate McKinnon parodied supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who was recently under heavy scrutiny for her scathing comments against Donald Trump, and referred to Che as Don Lemon, the CNN commentator.

Another segment of Che and Jost aired on Hardball later that night. They asked attendees to identify Republican vice-presidential pick Mike Pence from photos of other white-haired, white men. One man confused him for comedian Steve Martin.

The theme of the night was punctuated by a particularly awkward and confusing interview with Che, Jost and Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball, after their show.

At one point, Matthews told the two SNL stars, “I have a theory about being African American.”

“Really, tell me more,” Che responded unable to keep a straight face.

On Twitter, users called the interview “cringeworthy”. The New York Times’s Mike Isaac asked, “what in the name of GOD happened here?”

The faces of Michael Che say it all about this segment with Chris Matthews. Wtf was that?

— David Malitz (@malitzd) July 21, 2016

Later, Matthews asked Che who he thought the “funniest black guy” was.

“You know what, I’m going to say Cosby so nobody gets mad at you,” Che replied. “Now that’ll be the headline.”

“Say nothing bad about the dead. You know, you’re not supposed to do that,” Matthews said of Cosby.

“Did he die on air? Did we not know?” Jost replied.

“You know what I mean,” Matthews said.


Nicole Puglise

The GuardianTramp

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