Last week’s Weekend Update: Summer Edition saw former Saturday Night Live cast member Bill Hader taking on Anthony Scaramucci. This week, it was Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers’ turn to take on a couple of slave-owning founding fathers.
“You’re not going to believe this, but President Trump's approval rating is down,” Colin Jost began. “Trump can't believe it either because everywhere he goes people are always waving to him,” he added, showing a photo of neo-Nazis giving the Sieg Heil salute in Charlottesville.
“I don’t want to do this,” a clearly fed-up Michael Che said. “Nazis? Confederates? What is with these old-timey threats making a comeback? What's next, Vikings? Polio?” In response to Trump’s assertion that there were “fine people” on “both sides” of the protests in Charlottesville, Che said, “OK, but if you are a fine person and you happen to be at a rally filled with Nazis, at what point do you stop and think, ‘Hey, am I being unreasonable?’”
Multiple times over the past few days, President Trump has drawn comparisons between Confederate General Robert E. Lee and George Washington. So there to defend himself Thursday night was Washington himself, played by The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon.
“About this whole Robert E. Lee thing, I'm nothing like that guy,” Washington said. “I created this country, he tried to tear it apart. I rebelled against England, he rebelled against America.”
Ultimately, Che had to confront Washington about owning slaves. “Right, that was bad, that was wrong,” he said. “But if you want to talk about owning slaves, you should really talk about Thomas Jefferson.”
In that moment Seth Meyers emerged as Jefferson to defend his honor. “Whoa, whoa, whoa, you’re gonna throw me under the carriage like that?” he asked. “You're going to make me the slave guy? Really? Come on! What more do you want? You are the one on the quarter. I'm on the nickel and two dollar bill, joke money!”
“You have to remember, it was a different time, man,” Meyers’ Jefferson added. “It was the '70s, man.” The 1770s. “Look, we have all done bad things, but the difference between us and Robert E. Lee is we did good things. I wrote the Declaration of Independence.”
“Not to be a jerk, but I won my war,” Washington chimed in.
“Yeah, and I’m sorry Robert E. Lee, but I prefer generals who win wars,” Jefferson added.