During the “Weekend Update” segment of “Saturday Night Live” this week, head writers and co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che lambasted President Trump over his acquittal in the United States Senate and mocked radio host Rush Limbaugh, who was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom during Tuesday’s State of the Union.
“The day after the Senate vote, President Trump gave a speech at the White House, which he called a celebration,” said Che. “Let’s take a look.”
The screen then showed footage from the moment when former football player O.J. Simpson was found “not guilty” of the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Simpson Brown and the murder of Ronald Goldman. In the clip, Simpson smiles and raises his hand in the air upon being found “not guilty.”
The “SNL” audience reacted with laughter and groans.
“Oh, that’s the wrong clip. Here’s the actual one,” Che chuckled before playing a series of snippets from Trump’s actual post-acquittal speech in which the president slammed Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), calling them “horrible” people.
The snippets also included Trump calling former FBI Director James Comey a “sleazebag,” and referring to the Russia investigation as “bulls***.”
After the clip, Che noted that the audience for the speech “consisted of his legal team and Republican lawmakers because I guess that circle ain’t gonna j*** itself.”
The first mention of Rush Limbaugh was harmless enough, with Jost saying that the president awarding the conservative radio host the Medal of Freedom, as well as celebrating the new Space Force, was “predicted by a MadLib I did in 1992.”
The following joke from Michael Che got vicious.
“During the State of the Union, President Trump, in a touching moment, awarded Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom,” Che began. “And then immediately after the speech, in a more touching moment, Rush traded the medal for a bottle of Oxy.”
After audience laughter and groans, Che followed up, saying, “Now, say what you want about Rush Limbaugh,” then stopped speaking, and looked down.
For the uninitiated, Rush Limbaugh announced during his radio show on Monday that he had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.
“I have to tell you something today that I wish I didn’t have to tell you,” he said. “I have been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. Diagnosis confirmed by two medical institutions back on January 20th.”
The radio host was subsequently invited to attend President Trump’s State of the Union address, during which he was presented with the Medal of Freedom.
According to Limbaugh, while he was aware that he would be presented with the award itself, he believed that it would happen weeks later at the White House. When it was awarded to him during SOTU, he was clearly stunned.
Micahel Che’s joke about “Oxy” was in reference to Limbaugh’s previous addiction to the drug. In 2003, after reports surfaced that Limbaugh was addicted to OxyContin and other painkillers, the host confessed on his radio program.
Limbaugh stated in part:
I am not making any excuses. You know, over the years athletes and celebrities have emerged from treatment centers to great fanfare and praise for conquering great demons. They are said to be great role models and examples for others. Well, I am no role model. I refuse to let anyone think I am doing something great here, when there are people you never hear about, who face long odds and never resort to such escapes. They are the role models. I am no victim and do not portray myself as such. I take full responsibility for my problem. At the present time, the authorities are conducting an investigation, and I have been asked to limit my public comments until this investigation is complete.
Britannica notes, “In 2006 [Limbaugh] was arrested for drug fraud after authorities alleged that he ‘doctor shopped’ (illegally obtained prescriptions from multiple physicians). Limbaugh later reached a deal with prosecutors, and the charges were dropped after he received treatment.”