You just knew that having Sterling K. Brown hosting “SNL” would mean copious “This Is Us” jokes, and the show delivered in a big way Saturday night with a digital short advertising a fake show called “This Is U.S.”, a political drama about the Trump administration starring Brown as Ben Carson.
This bit was full of standard boilerplate lines that feel like they could have been pulled from any popular show — or, say, “This Is Us” specifically — although they weirdly manage to be true if you think of the drama of the past 14 months in President Trump’s White House as a TV show.
For example, it begins with a narrator declaring that “millions of Americans have tuned in to the show that’s captivating a nation.” Which, hey, it is certainly true that the troubling goings on in the Trump administration have captivated most of us. And yes, of course, the sketch directly compared “This Is U.S.” to “This Is Us.”
“NBC presents ‘This Is U.S.,” the real life drama happening in our government every day,” the narrator said. “The show critics are calling ‘like This Is Us, but without the parts that feel good.'”
The video is not just a parody of “This Is Us” with its title — it played pretty much exactly like a promo for “This Is Us” down to the use of its theme music.
The bulk of the sketch is briefly spent visiting the cast of characters, including Brown as Carson, Aidy Bryant as Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kate McKinnon as Kellyanne Conway, Beck Bennett as Mike Pence and Cecily Strong as Melania Trump — all of whom, because it’s like “This Is Us,” are seen crying except for McKinnon’s Conway, who says she can’t cry because “I have nothing in me.”
“Entertainment Weekly says you’ll be laughing through tears except without the laughing. so just regular crying,” the announcer read later on.
“‘This Is U.S.’ This is real.”
Among the many funny look-ins at the happenings in the Trump administration, my personal favorite saw a shirtless Pete Davidson as Jared Kushner. Davidson’s Kushner is making a phone call while binging on cheap kosher wine. “Hello, United Arab Emirates? This is Jared Kushner. Is there any way I could borrow like $800 million?”
And then he chucks one of the bottles at the wall when he, I suppose, didn’t get the answer he wanted.
You can watch the full “This Is Us” parody from this week’s “SNL” in the embedded video at the top of this post, or on YouTube here.