NEW YORK — In tune with the new administration of alternative facts, viewers are embracing a comic alternative president.
Alec Baldwin, who has scored in guest shots on "Saturday Night Live" with his mocking impersonation of Donald Trump since the campaign's final weeks, presided Saturday night as guest host of the NBC comedy show, serving up yet another Trump masquerade.
In his spoof, President Trump made good on a tweeted vow to "see you in court" directed at the three Ninth Circuit federal judges who last week refused to lift a stay preventing his immigration ban from being enforced.
His chosen venue: "The People's Court," where he was suing the three judges.
"I'm right, they're wrong," Trump erupted. "I want the travel ban reinstated. I also want $725."
Then, as a character witness, he brought in Russian president Vladimir Putin (Beck Bennett), who praised Trump as "my little American Happy Meal."
In another sketch, Baldwin, making his record 17th "SNL" hosting appearance, took social relevance to an outrageous level as an ad man brainstorming a Cheetos commercial for the Super Bowl. In another, he was an obstetrician examining Beyonce, pregnant with twins (played by a chatty Kenan Thompson and surprise guest Tracey Morgan).
But while Baldwin was the drawing card for viewers seeking political satire, the night belonged to ultra-versatile "SNL" cast member Kate McKinnon.
On "Weekend Update," she depicted Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who last week was silenced by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the midst of final debate over the confirmation of Jeff Sessions, Trump's nominee for attorney general.
Also in the show, McKinnon was almost unrecognizable as newly sworn-in Sessions himself, played as drawling, cornpone and ghoulish.
And in yet another sketch, she encored her crowd-pleasing lampoon of White House
Opening the show, Melissa McCarthy returned with her portrayal of hot-tempered White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer that wowed viewers on last week's show.
"I said that wrong when I said it," ''Spicer" seethed when asked about a confusing remark. "Then you wrote it. Which makes YOU wrong."
Finally, losing all control, she mowed down the press corps on her motorized podium.