department of jost-ice

Disgruntled SNL Viewer Tried to Get the Department of Justice to Shut Down the Show

Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by NBC and Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It’s one thing to dislike an episode of Saturday Night Live. Heck, some of us make careers out of it. It’s something entirely other, however, to be so offended by the long-running sketch-comedy show that you try to get the Department of Justice involved to “mitigate” it. But to no one’s surprise, that’s exactly what Donald Trump did during his presidency. According to two sources in The Daily Beast, Trump “had asked advisers and lawyers in early 2019 about what the Federal Communications Commission, the courts systems, and — most confusingly to some Trump lieutenants — the Department of Justice could do to probe or mitigate SNL, Jimmy Kimmel, and other late-night comedy mischief-makers” that mocked him on television. We already knew Trump had tweeted threats at SNL in 2019, but now we know how deep those conversations ran internally. Apparently, around this time, advisers had to repeatedly explain to Trump that the FCC’s “equal time” rules for political candidates during elections do not apply to getting Alec Baldwin to stop doing that butthole thing he does with his face. There oughta be a law!

Update June 22, 7:00 p.m.: Trump has, of course, denied the Daily Beast report that he attempted to use the Justice Department to “prob or mitigate” SNL. “The story that I asked the Department of Justice to go after ratings-challenged (without Trump!) Saturday Night Live, and other late-night Losers, is total Fake News,” Trump said in a statement. He also added that he prefers Darrell Hammond’s impression of him to Baldwin’s, and we (tragically) have to agree.

Disgruntled SNL Viewer Tried to Get the DOJ to Shut It Down