Saturday Night Live's Washington follies turned into a Meet the Parents reunion Saturday night, with big hitters Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller joining the late-night show's political ensemble.
A jowly De Niro played special counsel Robert Mueller, who conducted an adversarial lie-detector exam of President Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen, played in jittery fashion by Stiller. In Meet the Parents, De Niro's ex-CIA operative put his daughter's boyfriend (Stiller) through a similar test.
The big guest stars and a busy news week gave this SNL political parody more bite than some recent ones.
The skit opened at the Justice Department, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions (Kate McKinnon) and Vice President Mike Pence (Beck Bennett) talking about the past week's events in Mueller's investigation, including the government's search of Cohen's home, office and hotel room.
"In a couple of months, the president will be back to normal," Pence reassured Sessions.
"How's that?" Sessions asked. "Because it will be me," Pence declared.
Stiller's Cohen entered the room and complained: "This whole raid was a complete violation of attorney-criminal privilege." He then made a pitch for the president as "the smartest, kindest, sexiest, least-colluding man on this planet I call Earth."
They sent Cohen to another room. When Mueller walked in, De Niro had to pause for a minute as the audience exploded in applause.
He hooked Cohen up to the lie-detector machine and said: "I'll start with some easy ones. How'd you like that pee-pee tape?" — a reference to an uncorroborated allegation in the infamous Christopher Steele dossier. "What?" a surprised Cohen responded.
Mueller asked: "You're a lawyer?" Cohen answered: "-ish."
Stiller's Cohen referred to the $130,000 payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels as a gift: "Like a rock you throw through a window with a note tied to it that says, 'Stop talking.' "
The pair then did some movie callbacks, as Cohen explained, 'You can milk anything with nipples," a line used by his character, Gabriel Focker, in Meet the Parents. De Niro played Jack Byrnes, Gabriel's eventual father-in-law, in the three-film franchise, which includes Meet the Fockers and Little Fockers.
After listing Trump family code names, including "Two Fredos" for brothers Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, De Niro's Mueller made a promise to Cohen: "Now, we're gonna catch all you Little Fockers. You got that?"