This week’s “SNL” cold open skipped the political landscape, instead parodying R. Kelly’s wild interview with Gayle King in which Kelly tried to salvage his image and really, uh, did not. Kelly was played by “SNL” regular Kenan Thompson, and Leslie Jones played King.
“I guess my first question for you, Robert is, why exactly are you doing this interview?,” Jones’ King said to open the interview after refusing Kelly’s request to be called “victim.”
“Because people think I’m some kind of a monster. I’m here to remove all of that,” Kenan’s Kelly said before referencing his own own song lyrics. “My lawyer was telling me no. But my ego, my ego was telling me yes.”
Several times during the sketch he slipped into song, as he did during one point when he was discussing the Lifetime documentary series about him.
“Look, I made a lot of mistakes in my life. Maybe I can’t read or write or math. I’m still a person. I put on my pants one sleeve at a time just like everybody else,” Kelly declared.
“What about the Lifetime docuseries that interviewed numerous women, family members and your former tour manager, all saying the same things?” King asked. To which Kelly replied in song.
“It’s 10 o’clock in the morning. And I’m talking to Oprah’s friend. If I can just get through this, everybody’s gonna love me again.”
King tried to get him back on topic by reminding him that they were talking about the documentary series.
“Oh, right. These people made a six-part documentary about me. Six. That’s almost ten!” Kenan’s Kelly said. “And not one of them said a nice thing about me. They made it seem like I was the devil. I’m not the devil. And even if I was, you can’t think of one nice thing to say about the devil? I can. Nice horns. Gives good advice.”
“So why do you think people are making these lies up about you?” King interjected.
“For money, obviously. I’m a very rich man. And people are always trying to take advantage of me.”
“Well, if you’re so rich, why did it take so long to pay $160,000 you owe back in child support?”
“Damn, that’s a good question,” Kelly said, in song again. “I wasn’t expecting that. Now I have to switch directions and get some sympathy back.
And then Kelly gave his answer: “Because I’m a very poor man.”
The sketch ended with a rare fourth-wall break on the “Live from New York” exclamation, with Kenan as R Kelly turning the wrong way and yelling it at the back wall of the set before Jones as King set him straight.