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‘SNL’: Cecily Strong’s Judge Jeanine tackles Rittenhouse verdict, James Austin Johnson’s Trump returns

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‘SNL’: Cecily Strong’s Judge Jeanine tackles Rittenhouse verdict, James Austin Johnson’s Trump returns

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Early Newspaper

Judge Jeanine Pirro and Donald Trump reprised their lovefest on this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” as Cecily Strong and James Austin Johnson tackled the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict and word salads.

“That lovable scamp was put through a nightmare of a trial just for doing the bravest thing any American can do: protecting an empty used car lot in someone else’s town,” Strong began, channeling the Fox News host and praising Kyle Rittenhouse, who was found not guilty of intentional homicide and other charges this week.

Sipping from a mug stamped with the words “Liberal Tears,” Strong welcomed two guests to comment on the Rittenhouse verdict, a white legal analyst for “nasty NPR,” played by Chloe Fineman, and a Black professor from Howard University, played by Chris Redd.

“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” Fineman says of the not-guilty verdict given to Rittenhouse.

“I have! Redd replies with wide eyes.

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After covering other political touchstones from the week – House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s eight-hour filibuster and President Joe Biden’s colonoscopy (“Passed Out Joe,” as Strong calls him) – James Austin Johnson returns as Trump to offer his thoughts on the infrastructure bill passed by the House last week.

“The truth is, nobody did more for infrastructure than me, and people say – and you know what, people, of course, people are me – are saying I built it back even a little better,” Johnson says before employing the 60-second topic clock reminiscent of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption.”

Johnson bounced through topics – President Obama, “Ghostbusters,” “Gossip Girl” and Serena Williams among them – and engaged in a word search of more randomness (“Chris Christie,” Dua Lipa, “unfair” and “MAGA”).

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The show’s last episode before Thanksgiving break – it returns Dec. 11 with Billie Eilish as both host and musical performer – featured Simu Liu, star of Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” as host and rapper/singer Saweetie as musical guest.

During his opening monologue, Liu, who is Chinese Canadian, said he achieved his goal of starring in a Marvel film the typical Canadian way: “By asking politely.”

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‘SNL’: Cecily Strong’s Judge Jeanine tackles Rittenhouse verdict, James Austin Johnson’s Trump returns