NBC’s Saturday Night Live airs a sketch in which Julian Assange meets Lori Loughlin in prison. Actor Michael Keaton makes a cameo by portraying the recently-arrested WikiLeaks founder, while cast member Kate McKinnon appears as the disgraced sitcom actress who was recently charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud. The segment was part of Saturday Night Live’s cold open, a staple of the iconic comedy series.
On April 11, a heavily-bearded Assange was forcibly removed from Ecuador’s London embassy and now faces extradition to the United States. Authorities claim that Assange conspired with former U.S. intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to publish classified documents. In 2013, Manning was convicted of violating the Espionage Act, and was arrested last month for refusing to testify against Assange. Meanwhile, the aforementioned Loughlin was also arrested last month as part of a college entrance exam cheating scandal. In pop culture, she’s best known for portraying Aunt Becky in the original Full House series, along with Netflix reboot Fuller House. As reported earlier this month, Loughlin is expected to serve jail time for her role in the academic scandal.
For Saturday Night Live’s latest episode hosted by Emma Stone, the show begins with a faux MSNBC video, in which the voiceover states that “we’re back to prison shows” after the Mueller report “turned out to be a big fat zero.” For the comedic premise, Saturday Night Live frames the skit as an episode of “Lockup: Chino Correctional Facility.” To begin, three inmates muse over their crimes before McKinnon appears as Loughlin, and attempts to establish herself as the craziest inmate. Soon after, former Stormy Daniels lawyer Michael Avenatti appears, portrayed by cast member Pete Davidson. Recently, Avenatti was charged with numerous financial crimes. Near the end of the segment, Keaton appears as Assange, chewing gum and projecting a confident demeanor to impress the inmates. He describes himself as the “Architect of Anarchy” and the “King of Chaos,” before shaming the inmates with knowledge of private “ding dong” information, along with his access to a file called “Ideas for Shark Tank.” Keaton’s Assange also describes himself as an actual “James Bond supervillain.” Watch the full SNL sketch below.
Last week, Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington hosted Saturday Night Live. In a sketch called “New HBO Shows,” Harington appears in character as Jon Snow, with the segment’s premise examining all the spinoffs that could emerge once Game of Thrones’ final season ends. Over the past 10 years, Game of Thrones has influenced pop culture like few other television series, and the final season will air throughout April and May on HBO.
Thanks to poor celebrity decision-making, Saturday Night Live’s cold open always has fresh material to address. Most often, it’s not a cast member that steals the show, but rather a surprise celebrity guest, and Keaton’s surprise cameo displays his knack for comedic timing. Thirty years after starring as Batman, Keaton is still a relevant pop culture figure; one who feels right at home on a series like Saturday Night Live – a show he’s hosted three times in the past (and should host again soon).
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Source: Saturday Night Live