On SNL, Kellyanne Conway Pops Up Everywhere, Kneeling
Making fun of Kellyane Conway has become a sport at Saturday Night Live, but this week featured an unusual format for it: the show’s brief interstitials as it cuts to commercial.
The camera often pans across the stage as actors or musicians set up for the next segment, before more commercials play. But this week, several of the pans showed Kate McKinnon as Conway, kneeling and reading her phone, seemingly oblivious to the goings-on around her. There were three total instances of the gag: One as a sketch set up, one as the musical guest got ready, and one as McKinnon knelt on top of the Weekend Update desk as co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che signed off.
The joke is a reference to a viral photo of Conway kneeling on a couch in the oval office, as President Donald Trump met with leaders of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Critics felt the pose was overly familiar and disrespectful to the office, and others thought Conway looked disinterested in the meeting, which many had already suggested was just a photo op to give the administration cover in the black community.
Conway’s sisyphean job of diverting criticism from President Trump’s bizarre behavior, combined with her singular focus on this goal and apparent lack of scruples, make her a natural target for the show. It has already portrayed her as Roxy Hart from the musical Chicago, cooing about being a celebrity; and as Glenn Close‘s character from Fatal Attraction, seducing CNN anchor Jake Tapper with unbeatable ratings.