The final Saturday Night Live cold open of 2018 opened with the words, “Lord, please help Donald Trump. He’s not a good man, but he is in trouble.”
Snow fell on a White House balcony as Alec Baldwin’s Trump told Clarence the Angel, “Sometimes I wish I had never been president.” And with that, “It’s a Wonderful Trump” began.
In this alternate, black-and-white reality, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was doing PR for Facebook and Kellyanne Conway was “no longer eaten from within by lies.” She told Trump, “After we lost the campaign, the devil gave me back my soul. So, excuse me, I have to go find my husband, who I do speak to now.”
Hillary Clinton was president and “all she had to do was visit Wisconsin once.” Melania divorced Trump and lost her accent because, as it turned out, being around him was hurting her language skills. And there was Ben Stiller’s Michael Cohen, still loyal to Trump and not on his way to prison. “I’ll see you tomorrow at the grand opening of Trump Tower Moscow!” he promised.
“Wow, so everyone is better off without me being president,” Trump realized.
Everyone except perhaps Matt Damon’s Brett Kavanaugh, who never got his chance to be on the Supreme Court. “Me on the Supreme Court? With my temperament? Are you insane?” he asked. “No, they went with that nerd Merrick Garland. But on the plus side, when I tell people I like beer, they find it charming and not like I’m threatening violence.” He teared up as he gave Trump a calendar for Christmas.
Finally, Robert De Niro’s Robert Mueller showed up with a present for Trump. No, not a subpoena or his final report. “It’s a picture of my grandson,” he said. “I’ve been spending so much more time with him since I don’t have to investigate some idiot for treason.”
“Wow, this night has put everything into perspective,” Trump said. “I have had an epiphany. I guess the world does need me to be president after all.”
That was not the lesson he was supposed to take from the experience, but it is still our shocking reality.