On Sept. 29, 2001, in its first episode after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the show opened with remarks from Rudolph W. Giuliani, then the mayor of New York, who thanked members of the New York Fire Department, Police Department and Port Authority Police Department. Paul Simon then played his Simon & Garfunkel song “The Boxer.”
The episode broadcast on Dec. 15, 2012, which followed the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, opened with the New York City Children’s Chorus singing “Silent Night.”
Weekend Update’s Bit of the Week
The co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che both delivered pointed comic monologues that advocated for gun control.
Mr. Jost opened the segment by saying, “The investigation into the tragedy in Las Vegas this week has sparked a larger debate in America, between people who want common-sense gun control, and people who are wrong.”
This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. The guy had 47 guns. No one should own 47 of anything. If you own 47 cats, you are not a responsible pet owner, you’re a crazy cat lady. And unlike with guns, the government will actually come and take your cats away because everyone agrees that’s insane. Also, this guy bought 33 of his guns in the past year, and that didn’t set off any kind of alert? If I buy $100 worth of Chick-fil-A, I get a text message from my bank that says, ‘Did you just purchase $100 worth of Chick-fil-A? Please, Colin, tell us this is fraud.’ How is no one keeping track of how many guns people own? There is a real law in Texas that says it’s illegal to own more than six dildos. And I get why. No one needs that many. If you have more than six dildos, it’s a clear sign you are training for something awful.
Mr. Che asked, “Why is it so hard to get gun control in this country?” His monologue continued:
“Who are these delicate snowflakes that we can’t just tell: ‘No, you’re not allowed to have 40 guns anymore, Earl. From now on, you can have one gun, max. And six bullets.’ If you can’t hit what you’re shooting with six bullets, then you don’t need to be shooting at it. Learn karate or use your words. I’m sick of this narrative that Americans just love guns so much. It’s not true. Seventy-eight percent of Americans don’t even own a gun. And 3 percent of Americans own 50 percent of all the guns in the country. That’s the problem: that whiny 3 percent that needs to feel secure all the time. That’s why I think we should do a buyback program. For every gun you trade in, we give you one half-inch of penis enlargement. That’s fair. If you trade in 10 guns, you get five more inches. And if women want to trade in their guns, don’t. Keep your guns. You’re probably going to need it to fight off all those men in spandex showing off their brand-new eight-inch penises.”
Mr. Che joked, “Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said that he wants Congress to look into some proposals for gun control. But first he wants to look into this briefcase from the N.R.A.” Here, an onscreen graphic showed a National Rifle Association briefcase full of money.
Missing Subject of the Night
“S.N.L.,” which was hosted by the “Wonder Woman” actress Gal Gadot, conspicuously avoided the subject of Harvey Weinstein, the powerful film producer who is facing decades’ worth of sexual harassment accusations. The apparent reluctance of the late-night shows to address the issue — as of Friday night, only “The Daily Show” had made a single oblique reference to the accusations — has rankled some critics of these programs, who say it is hypocritical of them to have mocked figures like Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes of Fox News and even Mr. Trump for sexual harassment accusations while ignoring a prominent, politically liberal transgressor.
Kate McKinnon’s Role of the Week: Doing the ‘Gins-burn’
During “Weekend Update,” Ms. McKinnon reprised her role as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom she plays as a kind of saucy insult comedian. Talking about a gerrymandering case that the United States Supreme Court is considering, Ms. McKinnon said of Republicans, “Hello, we see what you’re doing. It’s like they’re at a cocktail party, they’re taking all the shrimp. And all the Democrats are left with is the sweaty cheddar. By the way, sweaty cheddar is what they called Steve Bannon in college. Ouch! That’s a nasty Gins-burn.”
Addressing Ms. Ginsburg’s own longevity, Ms. McKinnon said: “Joke’s on you. I made a deal with our female God that I would trade height for years. So in 2095 I’m going to be the size of a Playmobil, but I’ll still be kicking ass and taking Boniva.”
Pete Davidson’s Joke of the Night
In a “Weekend Update” routine, Mr. Davidson discussed his recent disclosure that he had been given a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, a form of depression. He talked about strategies he could use to keep himself healthy, among them: “If you’re in the cast of a late-night comedy show, it might help if they, you know, do more of your sketches,” he said. “The show is, like, eight hours long and there’s, like, 50 sketches a week. It seems weird you wouldn’t use one of them to fight mental illness, but I guess that’s not your style.”
When Mr. Jost suggested to Mr. Davidson that he should write more sketches, Mr. Davidson answered: “That won’t work. My sketches suck because they’re all written by a depressed person.”
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