Alec Baldwin may not have appeared in the “SNL” cold open for the second week in a row, but it made up for it by revealing an important piece of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collaboration between the Trump campaign and Russia to win the 2016 election: a look at an in-person meeting between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Kate Mckinnon) and Donald Trump Jr. (Mikey Day) in which Assange provided Trump with a pile of hacked emails from the Democrats. And Also Eric.
I’m gonna cut straight to the end here, in which Eric Trump, played as usual by Alex Moffat, stole the show by botching the “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” declaration that “SNL” wraps its cold opens with. When Moffat, Day and McKinnon all leaned in together to shout the line, Moffat said “live” with a short “i,” interrupting the delivery and prompting a lecture on pronunciation from Day’s Donald Jr.
You can watch the sketch above.
It may have been the first time “SNL” overtly treated that line as the fourth wall-breaker that it is — in that moment the sense is usually that it’s the actors delivering the line. In this case the characters in the sketch actually acknowledged what was happening.
The gag was a payoff to a running joke on “SNL” the past two seasons in which Eric Trump is portrayed as a simpleton. During the sketch Eric repeatedly interrupted the negotiations between Assange and Donald Jr by saying stupid things. Eventually, Donald Jr gave Eric a fun bright toy to play with to distract him while they closed the deal.
The meeting kicked off with Donald Jr saying that he thought an in-person meeting in London would be safer than the WikiLeaks twitter sliding into his DMs constantly — a reference to the WikiLeaks Twitter sliding into Donald Jr’s DMs in real life.
“I trust you’re alone?” McKinnon’s Assange asked.
“My brother Eric is waiting in the car,” Day’s Donald Jr replied. “Not to worry, I told him to honk the horn if he gets scared. now, Mr. Assange–“
At which point the conversation is interrupted by Eric honking the horn. Then Moffat’s Eric walked over and pointed out the uncanny physical similarity between Assange and Draco Malfoy from “Harry Potter.”
“That’s rude,” Donald Jr said. “What did we say about making fun of people’s appearances, bud?”
Eric: “That’s dad’s thing?”
Assange then objected to Eric’s presence, but Donald Jr said there was nothing he could do about it because “Eric’s wife had to work, so I have him for the day.”