tv Dana Carvey Returns to ‘SNL’ as ‘Church Lady’ for Politics-heavy Show
“Saturday Night Live” veteran Dana Carvey resurrected his “Church Lady” character in a surprise appearance last night following Donald Trump becoming the presumptive Republican nominee this week.
“It’s interesting times in America, and now we’ve landed on the exciting presidential matchup between a Godless liberal Democrat and Hillary Clinton,” Carvey said, eliciting laughs.
Carvey, who was a cast member on the show during the late 1980s and early 1990s, brought back the famous character for a round of callbacks and familiar guests.
“My first guest is someone I’ve talked about quite a bit here on Church Chat, but we’ve never actually met face-to-face. Please welcome, Satan.”
“You can actually just call me Ted Cruz,” said Taran Killam, playing the US senator from Texas.
After asking why his campaign didn’t work out, Killam responded: “I suppose the American people weren’t ready for a candidate with strong Christian values, someone like me who follows the righteous path and lives his faith every blessed moment.”
After a beat, Carvey shot back: “Has anyone ever told you that you’re just a liiittle preachy?. . . We like ourselves, don’t we? Look at that face, we love ourselves. There it is, there’s that happy superior face.”
And after Killam informed the “Church Lady” that suspending his campaign was part of God’s plan, Carvey asked: “Was it? Was it God’s plan for you to get humiliated by an orange mannequin?”
Killam also said he’d decided to visit the “dark side”: “I’ve been told to go to hell so many times, I think it’s finally time to check it out,” the fictional Cruz said with an evil laugh.
“I rarely say this in an encouraging way, but see you in hell!” Carvey responded politely.
Next up, Carvey welcomed the billionaire businessman, played by Darrell Hammond — but not before dubbing him “The Tangerine Tornado.”
The interview with Trump was not the first: Carvey interviewed the real estate mogul on “Church Chat” in 1990 to discuss his sex scandal with Marla Maples. Trump was then played by Phil Hartman, while Fred Savage played the Church Lady’s niece, Enid.
In his 2016 rendition, Carvey even brought out his character’s catch phrase after “Trump” erroneously described a scene in the Bible straight out of “Game of Thrones”: “Well, isn’t that special.”
Carvey continued: “Donny, there are those who say you’re not qualified, and that’s not true. I remember a ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ episode where Gary Busey didn’t sell enough pancakes, and you just said, ‘You’re fired!’ and I thought right then and there, give this man the nuclear codes!”
The fictional Donald Trump also paraded his “family” on the skit, introducing his wife, Melania; his daughter, Ivanka; and a third woman: “That’s just another model. I mean, she’s great energy to have around.”
Carvey then asked, “Tell me Donald, have you figured out who your vice president is going to be? Somebody who shares your temperament and values? Someone like, oh, I don’t know, could it be... Satan?”
Enter Cruz in a cloud of fog, newly fashioned with curved horns and sharp teeth, dubbing himself a demonic “Lord of Shadows.”
“Are you sure you aren’t Lord of the Weak Chins?” Trump shot back, to a dejected Cruz. “You’re the first guy who got possessed, and looks better.”
“You’re such a jerk, Donald! I’m going back to hell — they’re nicer there,” Killam pouted.
The show didn’t stop there in terms of poking fun at Ted Cruz. In one segment, a “Quiz Whiz” game show imagined a 2018 where the world forgot Cruz, as host Cecily Strong asked the contestants: “In the year 2016, Donald Trump won the Republican nomination for president, but what was the name of the man who came in second?”
After some back-and-forth, the host gave the last woman standing a clue: “Heidi, he’s your husband.”
“Oh my God, that’s right! I forgot, we did do that whole thing together,” said guest host Brie Larson, playing Heidi Cruz. “Oh God, that was so sad, he like, elbowed me in the face at the end and stuff, ah!”
Globe correspondent Carli Velocci contributed to this report.