Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” team reluctantly poked fun at Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis during the series’ Season 46 premiere.
The episode’s cold open first hinted that the president’s Covid-19 bout wouldn’t be off-limits comedically, and anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che spent much of their segment humorously covering the news.
“This news was a lot for us to process a day before we came back on the air after four months off. 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,” Jost said.
“I gotta say, it’s a bad sign for America that when Trump said he tested positive for a virus, 60 percent 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.”
Che added, “While in the hospital, the president isn’t allowed to see any guests, but he is expected to be visited by three ghosts. Probably one from his past, one from his… Okay, look this is weird.”
“Because 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,” Che continued.
“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. Like it’s so on the nose. It would be like if I were making fun of people who wear belts and then my pants just immediately fell down.”
Che later clarified, “Look, I don’t want the president to die, obviously. Actually, I wish him a very lengthy recovery.”
Jost then noted, “I will point out that if the situation was reversed and it was Biden who got sick, Trump would 100 percent be at a mask-less rally tonight getting huge laughs doing an impression of Biden on a ventilator. Just saying.”