The Saturday, December 16 episode of Saturday Night Live was hosted by comedian and Jumanji star Kevin Hart, while the musical guest was Foo Fighters, but it was Scarlett Johansson and her dead-eyed Ivanka Trump impression in the cold open that just about made the show.
Johansson debuted her ability to channel Ivanka’s strangely inhuman poise last season and returned last night in the first sketch of the episode, which found the Trump family (Alec Baldwin as Donald, Cecily Strong as Melania) decorating the White House Christmas tree with ornaments bearing the faces of those who had wronged and/or disappointed them during the president’s almost-a-year in office. The ever-stiff Ivanka brings an ornament with defeated congressional candidate and accused child-dater Roy Moore’s face on it, plus a little angry ball that represents Steve Bannon (his giant face wouldn’t fit on a normal ornament). Jared couldn’t make it; he’s busy packing a go bag for when the FBI show up. It’s a good impression; Johansson’s first daughter never seems flustered or even all that interested, and she’s always talking out of the side of her mouth.
Later, her brothers Don Jr. (Mikey Day) and the idiotic Eric (Alex Moffat) show up, Eric with a macaroni-based art project made with, unfortunately, cooked macaroni. Something about the way Don Jr. talks to Eric gets me every time. He’s so patient! And I can’t help but think that the real Ivanka is slightly proud that while her siblings are played by the normal cast, she gets an Avenger.
Trump’s staff appear as well, with Kate McKinnon pulling double duty as Kellyanne Conway (for Christmas she wants…out) and Jeff Sessions, cleverly disguised as an Elf on the Shelf and promising, all too troublingly, that Robert Mueller will be the next man fired by Trump. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Aidy Bryant) gets in on the holiday fun, along with Mike pence (Beck Bennet) and the recently ousted Omarosa (Leslie Jones) begging to be let back into the oval.