The same day President Trump compared Confederate General Robert E. Lee to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson on Twitter, SNL alumni Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers appeared in character as the two founding fathers to clear their names on Weekend Update: Summer Edition.
Following the weekend’s events in Charlottesville, Virginia, where protests against the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue turned violent, Trump tweeted, “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!”
Fallon appeared first on Weekend Update, defending himself against the Lee comparisons. “About this whole Robert E. Lee thing: I’m nothing like that guy,” said the Tonight Show host, dressed in 1770s garb. “I created this country; he tried to tear it apart. I rebelled against England; he rebelled against America. Him, bad. Me, the founding father, the original dad. Who’s your daddy? Me! I’m out.”
But before he could roll off the stage, Weekend Update‘s Michael Che corralled the first U.S. president and made him own up to one damaging part of his history. Not the “wooden teeth” or “[cutting] down that cherry tree,” but his history of owning slaves. “If you really want to talk about slaves, you should really talk about Thomas Jefferson,” Fallon said, prompting Meyers to crash the set.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” the Late Night host interrupted. “You’re gonna throw me under the carriage like that? You’re gonna make me the slave guy, really? You’re on the one [dollar bill] and the quarter! I’m on the nickel and the two-dollar bill! Joke money!”
The comedians ended the segment by distancing themselves once more from Lee, touting their accomplishments: the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution.
“Our country is the legacy that we’ve risked our lives to create,” Meyers said, with Fallon adding, “That is why this great nation has given us an honor greater than any statue: a three-day weekend in February during which all Americans get 50 percent off all mattresses.”
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