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A look at 7 of SNL’s top skits of 2017

Will Heath/NBC via AP, file

Melissa McCarthy played former press secretary Sean Spicer on "Saturday Night Live" in New York.

By Globe Staff 

Over the course of this tumultuous year, “Saturday Night Live” has brought a dose of humor each week to the current events and controversial issues facing the nation and the world.

From politics to national tragedies, from silly local stories to nationwide concerns, the writers, cast members, and guests of “SNL” have used comedy to speak candidly about these topics, while often giving viewers a chuckle at the same time.

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Here are some of the most memorable moments from “SNL” in 2017:

Melissa McCarthy debuts her recurring role as Sean Spicer

Episode date: Feb. 4

McCarthy’s recurring role as former White House press secretary Sean Spicer was a highlight of political satire this year, starting with her debut in February. McCarthy’s impersonation of Spicer was often spot on, from his gum-chewing habits to his shouting at the press.

“Before we begin, I know that myself and the press have gotten off to a rocky start,” McCarthy starts out her first skit, shouting to the mock press pool.

Jake Tapper vs. Kellyanne Conway

Episode date: Feb. 11

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In an attempt to get back on the air, Conway, played by Kate McKinnon, shows up at CNN anchor Jake Tapper’s (Beck Bennett) apartment to seduce him.

Wearing lingerie and waiting for Bennett when he arrives home, McKinnon tells Bennett his tie “smells like the news.”

When she says she might just go on the news to do a free commercial for Ivanka Trump’s shoes, live on air, Bennett says it’s illegal.

McKinnon, channeling “Fatal Attraction,” throws a knife, yelling, “So what? It’s just a little ethics violation.”

Scarlett Johansson advertises for Ivanka Trump fake perfume brand, “Complicit”

Episode date: March 11

Spoken with the smooth narration of a true perfume advertisement, the fake commercial features Johansson, doing her best impression of Ivanka Trump, walking through a party in a sparkling gold dress, advertising for a mock perfume called “Complicit.”

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“She’s beautiful, she’s powerful, she’s complicit,” the perfume’s catchphrase says.

“Complicit, the fragrance for the woman who could stop all this, but won’t,” the ad’s narrator says at the end. “Also available in a cologne for Jared.”

Tina Fey responds to the events in Charlottesville, Va. in summer “Weekend Update”

Episode date: Aug. 17

After a woman was killed at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., this summer, University of Virginia alum and former “SNL” head writer Tina Fey had a recommendation for dealing with other expected rallies: eat cake.

“And the next time when you see a bunch of white boys, boys in polo shirts, screaming about taking our country back, and you want to scream, ‘It’s not our country. We stole it from the Native Americans. . . . And when they have a peaceful protest at Standing Rock, we shoot at them with rubber bullets, but we let you chinless turds march through the streets with semiautomatic weapons,’ ” Fey said.

“And when you want to yell that, don’t yell it at the Klan, Colin,” Fey said to Weekend Update host Colin Jost. “Yell it into the cake.”

“SNL” is broadcast live in Israel for the first time

Episode date: Oct. 7

On the evening that “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot hosted “SNL,” the show was broadcast in her home country of Israel for the first time, and during her monologue, she spoke in Hebrew to her friends and family back home.

“Hi everybody. I just want to let you know that this might be a big mistake,” she said in Hebrew. “The writers here clearly know nothing about Israel. In every sketch, they have me eating hummus. I mean, I like hummus, but come on. They’re nice, but they’re not very sophisticated. I think they believe that I’m the actual Wonder Woman. So good luck to me. I’m hoping for the best.”

Chance the Rapper begs for Obama to come back

Episode date: Nov. 18

Nineties boy band fans, this one’s for you.

They start the song like any other boy band — in matching outfits, singing about their broken hearts. But wait until you’re one minute in, and you’ll realize exactly who it is they’re missing: former president Barack Obama.

“Come back, Barack,” Chance the Rapper, Kenan Thompson, and Chris Redd sing together, with additional pleas in between the lyrics. “We didn’t know just what we had. Now things are looking bad, like really, like world war bad, like nuclear bad. So come back, Barack.”

Women of “SNL” tackle sexual misconduct allegations

Episode date: Dec. 2

As sexual misconduct allegations continued to dominate the news, “SNL” responded with a sarcastic, comedic music video. The message? Some men might be shocked — SHOCKED! — by the ongoing harassment and assault scandals, but women have been living with it forever.

“Welcome to hell,” the women sing, referring to “hell” as their “hometown.”

“Look around. Isn’t it nice? It’s a full nightmare.”

But don’t get them wrong — this isn’t a girl group. They just travel around together for safety, the women say.


Felicia Gans can be reached at felicia.gans@globe.com
Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaGans.