If you felt slightly disappointed that Kate McKinnon showed up in this week’s “SNL” cold open as Julian Assange — which meant she couldn’t do her Jeff Sessions — you’ll be happy to know that McKinnon’s Session did appear later in the show on Weekend Update to chat with co-host Colin Jost.
Sessions kicked off the segment with a call-and-response chant with the audience. “When I say ‘I do not,’ you say….” Sessions prompted.
“Recall!” the audience yelled back.
“That’s my catchphrase,” McKinnon’s Sessions said.
Jost then asked Sessions about that catchphrase and his propensity for not remembering anything ever when asked questions by those investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
“Well, you know, Colin, I’ve had some memory problems stemming from a childhood trauma,” Sessions explained. When Jost pressed for details, Sessions said that trauma was “the passing of the Civil Rights Act” in 1964.
Jost then asked Sessions a series of questions about whether Sessions had any involvement in meetings between Trump surrogates and Russian agents. Sessions provided evasive answers before eventually pretending to be dead. When Jost asked if playing dead was, in fact, what Sessions was doing, the answer came in the form of a sign being held up by the tail of a possum hiding behind Sessions.
You may be aware that in Sessions’ home state of Alabama (which I also hail from, sadly) and other parts of the South, a colloquial way of saying that someone is hiding or looking to avoid taking responsibility for something is to so say he’s “playing possum” (because possums pretend to be dead when they’re in danger). So this joke works on a bunch of levels.
Sessions berated his possum friend for giving away the game, before excitedly describing his family’s Thanksgiving plans — which included eating at least four of the possums that his pal had recently birthed.
Sessions’ possum was introduced in last week’s cold open, when McKinnon’s Sessions consulted it while he was trying to figure out how to deal with the whole Roy Moore situation. It remains to be seen if the possum will be useful in helping the attorney general navigate the increasingly treacherous political waters of the year 2017.