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'Saturday Night Live' riffs on Russia investigation, criticizes Al Franken

"Saturday Night Live" criticized former cast member Sen. Al Franken who was accused of forcibly kissing and groping a woman during a 2006 USO trip.
Saturday Night Live - Season 43
(l-r) Alex Moffat as Eric Trump, Mikey Day as Donald Trump Jr., Kate McKinnon as Julian Assange during "WikiLeaks Cold Open" in Studio 8H on Saturday, November 18, 2017.Will Heath/NBC

"Saturday Night Live" took a page from old-school spy thrillers this week, kicking off the show with a cloak-and-dagger parody starring Julian Assange and the Trump sons.

The cold open imagined a meeting between WikiLeaks founder Assange (Kate McKinnon), Donald Trump Jr. (Mikey Day) and Eric Trump (Alex Moffat) in a shadowy garage, recalling the Deep Throat scene in "All the President's Men."

Riffing on the news that Trump Jr. was in contact with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign, Day's Trump Jr. asked for "dirt" on Hillary Clinton. Moffat's Eric Trump didn't seem to follow the conspiratorial intrigue, referring to Assange as "Julliard Massage" and likening him to "Harry Potter" villain Draco Malfoy.

"Eric, that was rude," Day's Trump Jr. scolded. "What did we say about making fun of people's appearances, bud?"

"That's dad's thing?" Moffat's Eric Trump responded.

In the end, McKinnon's Assange handed over a manila folder filled with a "treasure trove of hacked DNC emails." Day's Trump Jr. promptly stuffed the documents into his brother's Minions backpack.

"SNL" also criticized U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. — a notable alumnus of the sketch show — who was accused this week of forcibly kissing and groping a radio news anchor a decade ago during a USO trip. A photo shows Franken grabbing her breasts while she was sleeping on a plane and wearing a military protective vest.

"I know this photo looks bad, but remember: It also is bad," said Colin Jost, co-anchor of "Weekend Update."

"And sure, this was taken before Franken ran for public office, but it was also taken after he was a sophomore in high school," Jost said. "It's pretty hard to be like, 'Oh, come on, he didn’t know any better, he was only 55.'"

Another standout this week: A 1990s-style R&B music video pleading with the 44th president to return to the White House — "Come Back, Barack."

But ripped-from-the-headlines humor largely took a backseat for most of the episode. Chance the Rapper, making his hosting debut, set a cheerful tone during a high-energy monologue.

"I've been here before as a musical guest, but this is the first time I've had to, like, talk and stuff," the Grammy-winning artist joked.

Chance told the audience he had pledged to donate $1 million dollars to Chicago public schools. "The only problem is, I talked to my accountant, and I do not have it," the Windy City native said.

The solution: Chance had to "make some serious cash" with a holiday hit. He launched into a clever ditty about Thanksgiving, backed by some "SNL" cast members and a church choir of turkeys.

The musical guest this week was Eminem, who made headlines last month with a rap video in which he attacked President Trump. He did a three-song throwback medley with songstress Skylar Grey in just one appearance for the night.