Saturday Night Live had the delicate task of cracking jokes concerning President Donald Trump's coronavirus diagnosis and hospitalization. While it is never surprising to see SNL take shots at the president, there was surely concern about going too far and alienating viewers, especially if things happen to worsen for the POTUS this week. However, the show's "Weekend Update" segment was up to challenge and toed the line withhold being too mild.
Co-anchor Colin Jost kicked off the segment: "Say what you will about 2020, but it's got moves" as a graphic of Trump and a coronavirus rendering was displayed next to his head. He then discussed how the news took the SNL staff by surprise on Friday as they were finalizing the weekend's show.
"This news was a lot for us to process a day before we came back on the air after four months off," Jost said. "And it all happened so fast. I woke up yesterday and heard the president had mild symptoms, and four hours later, he was getting medevaced to a hospital in what looked like the last chopper out of Vietnam."
He then quipped about the misinformation coming from the White House and the support the President has received as he battles the illness. "I've gotta say, it's a bad sign for America that when Trump said he tested positive for a virus, 60% of people were like, 'Prove it.' And it's been very weird to see all these people who clearly hate Trump come out and say 'We wish him well.' I think a lot of them are just guilty that their first wish came true."
Michael Che was next up and got blunt with the audience after referencing Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. "While in the hospital, the president isn't allowed to see any guests, but he is expected to be visited by three ghosts," he said. "Probably one from his past, one from his… OK, look, this is weird. A lot of people on both sides are saying there's nothing funny about Trump being hospitalized with coronavirus, even though he mocked the safety precautions for the coronavirus. And those people are obviously wrong. There's a lot funny about this."
"Maybe not from a moral standpoint. But mathematically, if you were constructing a joke, this is all the ingredients you need. The problem is it's almost too funny. It's so on the nose. It would be like if I was making fun of people who wear belts, and then my pants immediately fell down."
Che then also made light of Trump's skirting of coronavirus protocols, saying, "By the way, is anyone surprised by this? I honestly thought Trump was trying to get coronavirus. I thought it was like Groundhog Day when Bill Murray knew he couldn't die and he was just trying anything. So all those maskless rallies Trump was having, that was him being safe?"
Che then ended his bit on a backhanded remark, adding, "Look, I don't want the president to die, obviously. Actually, I wish him a very lengthy recovery."
Jost closed out the "Weekend Update" commentary about the subject by pointing out the double standard others are being held to compared to the POTUS' usual behavior. "I will point out that if the situation were reversed and it was Biden who got sick, Trump would 100% be at a mask-less rally tonight getting huge laughs doing an impression of Biden on a ventilator. Just saying."