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Kate McKinnon Tempts Anderson Cooper As “Kellywise the Dancing Clown” on SNL

"Put me on TV...I'll give you a crazy, crazy quote."

Last night’s Saturday Night Live (SNL), hosted by The Big Sick writer and star Kumail Nanjiani, took aim at both Kellyanne Conway and the news shows that continue to invite her on-air. Kate McKinnon was back in all her manic glory as Kellywise the Dancing Clown, an It-inspired parody of Conway’s toxically symbiotic relationship with left-wing media. Down in the sewers, Pennywise-style, McKinnon’s Conway tempts Alex Moffat’s Anderson Cooper to put her on TV: “Don’t you want a quote? I’ll give you a quote. I’ll give you a crazy, crazy quote.”

She then teases him with examples of the double-speaking, faux-outrage, outright nonsense that Conway so often delivers. “Puerto Rico actually was worse before Hurricane Maria,” she says, “and the hurricane actually did blow some buildings back together, and I don’t know why Elizabeth Warren won’t tweet about that.”

“That’s insane!”

“I know. Do you want another one?”

Parodies of Rachel Maddow and Hillary Clinton also show up in the skit, further tempting Anderson Cooper into the sewer.

While SNL’s parodies of Kellyanne Conway as “fame-hungry” can skirt dangerously close to misogynist tropes, this particular skit really worked for me because (1) Kate McKinnon is so brilliant (2) the joke isn’t just about Conway. Instead, this was a brilliant parody of the way that left-wing shows thrive on outrageous quotes from people like Conway, just as right-wing shows live for hyperbolic tweets from left-wing college professors. The serious-minded hosts of liberal news programs, such as Anderson Cooper or Rachel Maddow, seem like they should know better. Conway almost never adds any value or insights to a program, and she usually uses her time on-air to spread disinformation. Inviting her onto your show, like sticking your hand into a sewer with a murderous clown, therefore seems like a painfully obvious no. And yet – as in the skit – Cooper and Maddow are often just too tempted by the ratings draw to resist.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter; image via screengrab)

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