Moffat next turned to Rex W. Tillerson, the departing secretary of state, played by Goodman, who tried to remain sanguine about his firing. “It just wasn’t a good fit,” Goodman said. “But these things happen.”
Asked if he had been fired by a tweet, Goodman denied it. “John Kelly called me personally,” Goodman explained. “He said, ‘Where are you?’ I said, ‘Sir, that’s private.’ He said, ‘Oh, good, are you on the toilet? Because I got some news.’”
Growing more agitated, Goodman said: “It’s just crazy how one day you’re the C.E.O. of Exxon, a $50 billion company. And the next day, you get fired by a man who used to sell steaks in the mail.” So saying, the drinking glass Goodman had been gripping tensely exploded in his bare hand.
For further analysis, Moffat brought out Armisen, who played the “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff, and Hader, who played the short-lived White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci — “the fidget spinner of the Trump White House,” as he described himself. (Hader explained, “I made a big splash, then one day everybody was like, ‘Whoa, what the hell was that about?’”)
Asked who would take over from McCabe, Armisen replied: “Well, my sources tell me the job is down to two candidates. Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke or the president’s favorite TV detective, Monk.”
‘Weekend Update’ Riffs of the Week
In their opening remarks, the “Weekend Update” anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che also joked about the continuing exodus at the White House. “This week, the national unemployment rate held steady at 4 percent,” Jost began as a line graph displayed beside him, “while the White House unemployment rate rose to all of them.” Suddenly, the line graph changed into a who’s who image of departed White House staffers.
The crazy thing is, I’m starting to feel sorry for all these people Trump is firing, even though I thought they were terrible at their jobs. I mean, six months ago, could you have imagined thinking, “Hang in there, Jeff Sessions”? The latest victim was former F.B.I. deputy director Andrew McCabe, who was fired two days before he was set to retire on his 50th birthday so he couldn’t collect his full pension. Damn, man, that’s cold. Even the Joker’s like, “You don’t treat people like that.” I love that Trump is being extra mean to the F.B.I. guy who’s definitely about to testify against him. It’s like walking in and announcing to a whole restaurant that you’re not tipping anyone before they make your food.
Che continued on this theme, saying:
President Trump fired Secretary of State Tillerson and replaced him with C.I.A. director Mike Pompeo. Tillerson will return to his previous job as the eagle from the Muppets. Insiders are saying that more major staff shake-ups could be coming to the White House. Trump is firing people like he’s trying to get us under the salary cap or something. It’s a little too late. It’s like when those Domino’s commercials say, “At Domino’s, we’re making some changes,” and you’re like, “Yeah, but you’re still Domino’s.”
‘Weekend Update’ Deskside Bit of the Week
Adding to her “S.N.L.” repertoire, McKinnon played Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, in damage-control mode after a poorly received interview on the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” in which DeVos said, among other things, that the decision to arm teachers should be left to states. Asked by Jost why she had fared so badly in the interview, McKinnon replied: “Well, I think the problem is that the words that were coming out of my mouth were bad. And that is because they came from my brain.”
Analyzing the merits of public schools and charter schools, McKinnon said: “I don’t like to think of things in terms of school. It should be up to the states. In Wyoming, for example, which has many potential grizzlies, there should be a school for bears. And in Louisiana, crocodile crossing guards. And in North Carolina, stop being trans, and that’s what’s best for them.”
As for the school shooting issue, she added, “We are working hard to ensure that all schools are safe learning environments for guns.”
MeToo Sketch of the Week
Playing a fictional Toronto film producer named Thomas Logan, described as “the Canadian Harvey Weinstein,” Hader confessed in a mock interview to misdeeds that were not nearly as offensive as those committed by his American counterpart.
“I’m here to say it’s all true,” Hader said. “I definitely abused my power.” He added: “I had this assistant and I was real inappropriate, saying stuff like, ‘You look nice today’ or ‘What kind of sunglasses are those?’ You know, really pestering her. So she got ticked and well, I just went ahead and resigned.”
“As soon as I realized, I said I was sorry,” Hader said. “I go to H.R. and I say, ‘Sorry, I gotta say, but I really put my boot in it this time.’ And the H.R. lady says, ‘No, I’m sorry, I should have seen this coming.’ So I resign and then she resigns.”
Riskiest Joke of the Week
Although commentators on both the left and the right urged the media not to make jokes about the news that Vanessa Trump had filed for divorce from her husband, Donald Trump Jr., “Saturday Night Live” did not receive or heed the memo.
During “Weekend Update,” Che said, “This Wednesday was National Walkout Day,” glancing at an onscreen graphic that depicted nationwide protests last week in which thousands of schoolchildren left class in support of gun law reform.
“Sorry, that’s the wrong picture,” Che said, and the graphic was changed to a picture of Vanessa Trump and Donald Trump Jr. “There it is.”
As the audience seemed to recoil at the joke, Che smirked, saying, “You know what we do here, right?”
Social media, you can take it from here.