Saturday Night Live (mostly) avoided the subject of Donald Trump (appearing only as an off-camera Alec Baldwin phoning in as "John Miller") in it's opening last night and focused on the on-air dynamics of the newly engaged Morning Joe hosts, Mika Brzezinski (Kate McKinnon) and Joe Scarborough (Alex Moffat). There was a bit of politics in the skit with the love couple discussing the recently passed in Congress health care bill but the main focus was satirizing the love (sometimes hate) relationship between the two.
Since politics is pretty much a sidenote in the skit, all can enjoy the art of the comedy performance especially that of Kate McKinnon who absolutely nailed the mannerisms of Mika. Her pitch perfect performance drew many well-deserved accolades as we shall see. It was good enough for your humble correspondent to forgive her for her mawkish singing of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" as Hillary Clinton right after the "sure winner" lost the election.
If you were impressed by McKinnon's performance you were not alone. Here is a rundown of a few glowing reviews starting with USA Today:
Master impersonator McKinnon aced Brzezinski's on-air demeanor, showing off a wide-eyed look and expressive body language, leaning back in her chair and trying to squeeze a word in as Scarborough pontificated.
The Washington Post made note of the "pitch-perfect" McKinnon impression of Mika:
As usual, a pitch-perfect McKinnon-as-Brzezinski went all in on her character. (Is there anyone she can’t hilariously spoof with startling accuracy?) At one point, she gets so caught up in the moment — after her co-host calls her “naughty” — that she starts nibbling on Moffat’s nose.
Finally, RedState gave major kudos to McKinnon's performance:
Kate McKinnon gets major props for her portrayal of Mika. She nails down her mannerisms, facial expressions and Mika’s tendency to say what’s on her mind while others on the show are talking.
Since Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski frequently review the SNL sketches on their Monday shows, one wonders (and looks forward to) if they will cover that skit. Another question will be if SNL will satirize Scarborough's testy relationship with his future father-in-law, Zbigniew Brezezinski, as you can see in December 2008 when he called Joe "stunningly superficial."
Plenty of squirming Mika material for Kate McKinnon to work with in that video!