Perhaps unsurprisingly, the first two weeks of 2018 have already been a crazy, "why am I getting so many scary CNN push notifications?" kind of whirlwind. A contentious book about Donald Trump's reluctance to take office has sent everyone into a tizzy, the president disowned his BFF, and Oprah said she may or may not want to take a shot at the White House in 2020. That's the equivalent of landing a 7-7-7 on an Everything Is Falling Apart! slot machine.
The folks at Saturday Night Live, in other words, had lots to tackle in their first sketch of the year.
Set at Morning Joe, this weekend's cold open tasked Mika Brzezinski (Kate McKinnon) and Joe Scarborough (Alex Moffat), MSNBC's not-so-private power couple, with addressing all those stories and more. That meant interviewing Eddie Glaude (Chris Redd), who didn't get to say much; Oprah (Leslie Jones), who claimed she was different from Donald Trump because she actually was a billionaire; and Michael Wolff (special guest Fred Armisen), who promoted Fire and Fury: "Look, you read it, right? And you liked it? You had fun? Well, what's the problem?"
Noticeably absent was Brzezinski and Scarborough's old friend and our country's very stable genius. Though Alec Baldwin wasn't on hand to reprise his role as POTUS, his presence was very much felt. The true highlight of the ripped-from-the-headlines sketch came near the end, when former Trump strategist Steve Bannon swooped in and removed his famous Grim Reaper garb. Amid cheers emerged very special guest Bill Murray, decked out in gross attire and detachable magnet spectacles.
"The Bannon dynasty is dawning," he said, before teasing a new Crackle web series (Cucks in Cars Getting Coffee) and skincare line (Blotch). "It's time for America to slide down the Bannon-ster."
Murray made for a nice surprise in what otherwise felt like a familiar opener -- an addition, like Melissa McCarthy's Sean Spicer, that will probably be ephemeral. Cherish him.