Arts

No escape from the news for jolly old St. Nick on ‘SNL’ cold open

Kate McKinnon as Amy the Elf tries to help Santa, played by Kenan Thompson, answer some difficult questions from children.
NBC/YouTube
Kate McKinnon as Amy the Elf tries to help Santa, played by Kenan Thompson, answer some difficult questions from children.

Even Santa Claus can’t escape the chaotic and sometimes troubling news cycle, as last night’s cold open of “Saturday Night Live” showed.

A jolly mall Santa (played by Kenan Thompson) is ready to hear the Christmas wishes of the children. First up, little Tyler wants a Mega Bloks dinosaur. Not a problem. Also, he’d like a laser tag game. Completely doable.

And finally, the doe-eyed child asks Father Christmas “Can you tell me – what did Al Franken do?

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Santa, taken aback, asks his Elf friend (played by Kate McKinnon) for some help. “Can you take the Al Franken thing, Sugarplum?” he says.

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“No,” McKinnon’s elf replies bluntly. “And in this climate, can you just call me Amy?

Santa agrees and shuffles Tyler off, but the parade of children that follow have equally jarring questions and requests.

Jessica wants to follow-up on Tyler’s question. “Is President Trump on the naughty list?” (“19 accusers, Google it-” Amy says before Santa stifles her.)

“What about Roy Moore - what list is he on?” (“It’s not really a list, it’s more of a registry-” Amy says before Santa cuts her off.)

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Another child wants Santa to tell him why “players kneel during the national anthem? Do they hate the troops?”

“They’re just kneeling because they’re tired,” Santa tells him.

From all the brain injuries?

“You know what, sure. Let’s just go with that - somehow that’s the happier version.”

One little girl asks for a Barbie – “unless the ‘feminazis’ are going to take that away from me too.”

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I want to talk about opioids,” another boy says.

A little girl wants “an embassy that is still in Tel Aviv.

When a beleaguered Santa offers a toy to young boy, he asks if it’s a toy “like the one Matt Lauer gave to his co-worker?”

“Where the hell they get these kids from?” Santa exclaims, lamenting his choice to study musical theater. “I never thought I’d say this, but I think our public schools are too good!”

Finally, little Jenny tells Santa that she doesn’t want any gifts this year. She just wants everything to be ok.

Amy the elf takes the young girl aside and comforts her. “It will be ok,” she promises. “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not for another three years, 42 days and 24 minutes,” she says, referencing the time remaining in President Trump’s current term. “Most people in America are good people and eventually, good people will fix our country.”

Jenny seems slightly reassured, but “just in case, I’m putting all my money in bitcoin.”

Rob DeCola can be reached at robert.decola@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @robdecola.