After eviscerating Donald Trump in its cold open, this week’s episode also gave a platform to Jimmy Fallon to offer a mea culpa of sorts for his critically savaged softball interview with the presidential candidate on The Tonight Show earlier this fall.
Does one tongue-in-cheek hair tousle from Tina Fey absolve a negligent late-night interviewer of his crimes? Well, never underestimate the power of Fey.
Fey and Fallon appeared in the Weekend Update segment of the show as two undecided female voters from suburban Pennsylvania—the demographic with the potential to make the most impact this election season.
The best part of their appearance: their Clifton Heights accents and intensely specific, spot-on Delaware County allusions. The most groan-worthy part: Jimmy Fallon, after all this time, is still breaking in SNL sketches. The “eh…fine” part: Fallon’s redemption.
The two women begin the sketch by flaming that they don’t know who they’ll vote for. “Whatever, you love Trump! Everyone thinks you love Trump,” Fey says to Fallon, ribbing him then messing with his (well, her, in character) hair, mimicking the much-derided noogie Fallon gave Trump.
Fallon’s character claims it’s not true: “I said it one time! Get off my bra strap, cool police,” seemingly addressing critics of his Trump interview. He adds, “I don’t like Trump! I don’t like that he called Alicia Machado fat.”
Then the two traded a handful of cracks about the candidates and the election. On Trump’s attack on Alicia Machado’s weight, Fey says, “Does this guy have mirrors in his house? He looks like someone opened a quesadilla to pick the chicken out.”
They do an extended bit on not respecting Hillary Clinton because she didn’t exact good enough revenge on any of the women who accused Bill Cinton of having an affair with them. In Delco, a wife would at the very least cut off the other woman’s ponytail—if not unleash a family of mice in the drop ceiling of her pizza place—for something like that.
As for Trump’s “grab them by the pussy” comments? It doesn’t bother them. “When you’re a big star like that, the rules are different,” Fey says. Like when you’re at the Mummers Parade and the firemen dressed as clowns are already drunk and sort of honk your boob as they walk past. (Again, these Delaware County references are amazing.) “So he’s like a drunk clown on the street?” Weekend Update co-host Colin Jost asks.
In the end, it was silly fun to see Fey and Fallon back together at the Update desk. And it’s interesting that Fallon is using another late-night show for celebrity image rehab. That’s typically what his series is for, and arguably what got him in hot water in the first place: offering a jovial safe space to humanize and make Trump—and by extension, his values and behavior—seem “fun.”
But hey, we’re not the cool police. Who are we to judge?