“SNL” skewered a bunch of recent events in American politics with its second episode in Season 44. After taking on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation in the cold open, “Saturday Night Live” turned its attention to Donald Trump’s new “Presidential Alert” system.
The digital short sketch found Americans of all walks of life receiving their first “Presidential Alert” on their phones — an Amber Alert-style text message that comes straight from the president, “in case of emergency.” That first tweet came to Americans’ phones Wednesday this week, but the “SNL” sketch imagines the situation escalating pretty quickly.
As with Trump’s Twitter feed, the Presidential Alerts become more and more unhinged over the course of the sketch. Unlike Trump’s tweets, though, Americans are forced to read the alerts.
Watch the sketch above.
“Failing New York Times says I cheated on taxes!” One alert reads. “Duh! It’s called being smart!”
“Puerto Rico is fine now!” goes another. “I guess paper towels worked!”
The sketch goes on to talk about how other presidents have directly addressed the American people, going back to Franklin Roosevelt’s radio fireside chats in the 1930s and into the early ’40s. Trump, on the other hand, has tweets and Presidential Alerts, which can get his message out straight to the public — no matter what that message is.
Later Presidential Alerts include messages like, “Hurricane Florence got the Carolinas so wet I thought it was the premiere of ‘Magic Mike,’ ” “Warning: White men are under attack,” “Kid Rock sounds better than ever,” and “Congrats to good guy Brett Kavanaugh. #BelieveMen.”
That last one was over the line for Kate McKinnon’s character in the sketch, who immediately dropped her phone into a hot dog vendor’s fryer.
The sketch ends with scores of Americans throwing away their phones after being inundated with Presidential Alerts they can’t avoid that are all just like Trump’s tweets.
Only Heidi Gardner’s character gets by without receiving Trump alerts. That’s when the twist lands — the whole sketch is actually a parody ad for extremely cheap prepaid wireless service, Cricket Wireless.