For a second show in a row, Alec Baldwin got to skip that garbled duckface routine for Saturday Night Live's cold open this weekend. Not only was the pretend POTUS not needed, but the show skipped its usual first entree of political punning altogether in favor of taking on a different issue: R. Kelly's jaw-dropping interview with Gayle King.
The CBS This Morning host interviewed the embattled R&B star last week, and things went spectacularly off the rails as Kelly grew exasperated over the many allegations levied against him and leaped from his chair to shout about his innocence. (Kelly was indicted on 10 counts of sexual abuse against several under-aged women, just weeks after Lifetime's documentary Surviving R. Kelly gave voice to several women who claimed to have been victimized by him and prompted a Chicago police investigation.)
In SNL's version of the sit-down, Leslie Jones stars as King, while Kenan Thompson takes on the role of the stammering singer, who explains his decision to sit for the interview by saying, "People think that I'm some kind of a monster. I'm here to remove all doubt. My lawyer was telling me 'no,' but my ego, my ego was telling me 'yes.'"
When confronted with questions about the veracity of the claims against him, Thompson's Kelly defends himself by pointing out those alleged indiscretions of his past that have gone unpunished as reasons he'd be too careful to do something like this now. "Why would I do that? That would be stupid. How stupid would it be for me, R. Kelly, with all the crazy legal things in my past on tape and gotten away with scot-free, to do it again? How stupid do you think I am? Is this the camera?"
As Jones' King continues to press, the way her real-life counterpart did so eloquently, that's when Thompson's version of Kelly takes his feet and starts losing it on-screen.
"Think for a minute, use your brains. Why would I do those things for 30 years?" he shouts. "I gave ya'll "Trapped in a Closet," "Feelin' on your Booty," "Age Ain't Nothin' But a Number" and so many other clues. And this is how you repay me? I don't have anyone left in my corner. 30 years. Oh man, that's almost a decade."
Eventually, it becomes clear that this interview may not have been the wisest line of defense, and Jones' King estimates that on a scale of 1 to 10, it's about a 13 in terms of harmfulness to his case.
"Weekend Update" also addressed R. Kelly's legal troubles and caused quite a stir as Pete Davidson compared the allegations against Kelly with those being waged against priests in the Catholic church, saying above groans, "if you support the Catholic church, isn't that the same thing as being an R. Kelly fan? I don't really see the difference — only one's music is significantly better."
As the three actor contestants scramble to figure out which roles they are suited to play, they finally reach the matter of whether Elba's David can portray James Bond, and he shouts, "I know the answer to that one!" But Thompson as the host offers a healthy bit of skepticism about his future as the next 007 by saying, "Do you, though?"
For anyone who's followed the never-ending noise surrounding whether Idris Elba will pick up where Daniel Craig leaves off after his final Bond appearance, well, that brief bit of dialogue pretty much covers it all, doesn't it?
Other highlights from Elba's first turn as host include his WNBA gold diggers skit, the "Impossible Hulk" sketch about all the overreacting "BBQ Becky" types that have become notorious thanks to viral videos, and this euro soccer interview sketch that lets Elba's British roots come through hard.
Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays at 11:30/10:30c on NBC. Catch up on past episodes on Hulu.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation.)