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‘Saturday Night Live’ Presents Trump Bibles

Former president Donald Trump’s recent foray into the business of selling his own Bibles provided plenty of comic fodder for “Saturday Night Live” on Easter weekend, including an opening sketch that, for a moment, seemed like a sincere retelling of the resurrection of Jesus.

This weekend’s broadcast, hosted by Ramy Youssef and featuring the musical guest Travis Scott, began with a voice-over recounting that the resurrection was witnessed by three women “who had come to anoint the body of Jesus and tend to his tomb.”

Following an aside from one of the women played by Sarah Sherman (who wryly observed, “When we’re done grieving, maybe we should come up with a girl’s name other than Mary”), the stone of the tomb was rolled away to reveal a glowing light.

“Is it Jesus?” asked another woman, played by Heidi Gardner.

“Basically, yes,” answered James Austin Johnson, in his recurring role as Trump. “Happy Easter, everybody,” he declared as he entered. “As it was stated in the Bible: ‘Guess who’s back, back again. Shady’s back.’”

Johnson noted that it was “the time of year when I compare myself to Jesus Christ,” which is “just a thing I do now, and people seem to be OK with it.”

He continued, “And if you think that this is a bad look, imagine how weird it would be if I started selling Bibles. Well, I’m selling Bibles.”

Johnson went onto make a sales pitch for his Bible (“made from 100 percent Bible”), noting, “I’m not doing this for the money. I’m doing this for the glory of God and for pandering and mostly for money.”

He showed off illustrations that placed Trump in his own basket on the Nile alongside baby Moses; in the Garden of Eden; and at Noah’s Ark, telling Noah, “Hey buddy, you forgot the raccoons.”

Before concluding his pitch with a garbled version of the Lord’s Prayer, Johnson also offered customers a free Miracle Trump Toaster, which would print Trump’s face on a side of toast. “The other side does Hello Kitty,” he said.

Youssef, the standup comedian and star of TV’s “Ramy” and the film “Poor Things,” began his monologue by noting, “This is an incredibly spiritual weekend.”

“We’re in the holy month of Ramadan,” he said. “Tomorrow is Easter, and yesterday Beyoncé released a new album. It’s just so many religions celebrating all at once.”

Youssef shared a story about traveling to upstate New York for a show but nonetheless feeling like he was in the South.

“I could feel the fear when my mom called me,” he said. “I didn’t want to speak Arabic. She was like, ‘Salaam alaikum, habibi.’ I was like, ‘Mother, peace be upon you. And the prophet. You know which prophet. The best one, the last one.’”

Youssef also made fun of President Biden (“Joe looks good when he’s aware. You know those days when he just comes out and he’s just like thawed? Like they gave him an extra 10 in the microwave?”) and said he wasn’t happy voting for either Trump or Biden, preferring that the next president be a transgender woman.

“She’d be like, ‘A lot of politicians talk about change,’” Youssef said. “You could see the bumper sticker: Real Change.”

Youssef concluded with a story about praying for two friends: one who is fighting in court for custody of his dog and the other who has family members in Gaza.

“My prayers are complicated,” he said. “I’ve got a lot to fit in.” He continued:

I’m like, God, please, please help Ahmed’s family. Please stop the suffering, stop the violence. Please free the people of Palestine, please. Please. And please free the hostages, all the hostages, please. And while you’re at it, free Mr. Bojangles. He’s a beautiful dog. I’m praying for that dog.

This week’s “S.N.L.” offered an embarrassment of comedic riches, so much so that we hoped they save something for coming hosts Kristen Wiig and Ryan Gosling. They included an increasingly absurd sendup of “The Newlywed Game” and a music video in which the Please Don’t Destroy guys get a little too high smoking weed with Scott.

That said, we’d still like to single out “Immigrant Dad Talk Show,” featuring Youssef and Marcello Hernández as the title hosts, who bond over their mutual dislike of their sons and their shared appreciation for a belt; as well as the fake ad promoting Ozempic for Ramadan, the holiday-theme weight-loss drug whose spokesman boasts, “As long as I shoot up before the sun rises, it’s halal.”

Over at the Weekend Update desk, the anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che continued to riff on Trump’s Bible sales and a Democratic fund-raising event attended by former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as President Biden.

Jost began:

Four presidents visited New York City at the same time on Thursday. Three to do joint fund-raiser at Radio City, and one selling bibles door to door. Donald Trump has partnered with country music star Lee Greenwood to sell a $60 special edition of the Bible that also includes the Constitution, the lyrics to Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.,” and I assume God’s letter of resignation. This Bible is mostly the same, but Trump’s version ends with Jesus’ disciples storming Jerusalem to overturn the results of the Crucifixion. Trump also posted this video urging his followers to buy it. [He played a video of Trump saying, “All Americans need a Bible in their home, and I have many.”] Many? I actually believe he has many bibles. I’m sure he’s been sent thousands of bibles with a note that says, “Please read this.”

Che continued:

More than 5,000 people attended a Democratic fund-raiser at Radio City Music Hall, featuring big-name celebrities like Barack Obama, Stephen Colbert and Lizzo. As well as lesser-known celebrities like President Joe Biden.

If there is such a thing as owl heaven, we hope that the escaped Central Park owl Flaco, who died in February, is looking down in appreciation at the tribute paid to him by Sherman, who dressed up in a veil and a costume covered with feathers to play Flaco’s widow.

In addition to asking “Who?” a lot, Sherman pointed out the awkward fact that Flaco’s autopsy indicated that the owl had a severe pigeon herpesvirus when it died. “And by the way, why was there even an autopsy?” she asked. “When a bird basically explodes into the side of a building, who’s like, ‘How did he die?’” When Jost tried to comfort her and Sherman misinterpreted his advances, Sherman joked that Jost might actually be her type after all: “Nocturnal predator.”

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