SNL Alum Bill Hader Debuts ‘The Mooch’ on ‘Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Summer Edition’

Not since Tina Fey famously donned her Sarah Palin apparel and accent has “Saturday Night Live” spun “Weekend Update” into its own separate show. Freshly on the heels of its record breaking 22 Emmy nominations, a season ranked with the series’ highest ratings in recent history — and, of course, Alec Baldwin’s President Trump impression – it only made sense for the spin-off to return with all of its spray-tanned glory.

Those who aren’t as fond of the “Weekend Update” segment on the main show need not apply, as “Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Summer Edition” is essentially a 22-minute stretched out version of the recurring segment as seen on the main show. Luckily, a couple of guests stop by to make things interesting and save the show from just being one-liners based on topical news headlines. While the latter is entertaining, it is not enough to sustain the entirety of the show for its elongated running time. Of course, the premiere episode had plenty of topical Trump-related and nuclear material to catch up on.

A few of the main cast members even dropped in and made an appearance. Kenan Thompson debuted his mediocre impression of LaVar Ball, while Leslie Jones dropped by the “Weekend Update” desk, returning as her recurring “update” character – an aggressively flirty version of herself, set on getting Colin Jost to blush.

Mikey Day and Alex Moffat also came on board as brothers, Donald Jr. and Eric Trump respectively. The two were seemingly mesmerized by the wonders of the ever-trending fidget spinner.

But the most notable appearance came from “SNL” alum Bill Hader, who jumped onto the show and debuted an Anthony Scaramucci impression. Hader appeared via FaceTime, and before signing off, he added, “You guys hiring over there because I tell jokes now: Hickory dickory dock, Steve Bannon was sucking his-” before the call was dropped.

Jost compared Scaramucci’s brief stint at the White House to “Christmas in July.” But later amended the statement by saying, “Actually, it was more like ‘Hanukkah in July’ because he was around for about a week and it’s a miracle he got that far.” Who really knows what relevance the impression will hold in the coming weeks? Nonetheless, it’s an amusing fit.

What greatly displaces this version of “Weekend Update” to the 2008 version is the lack of solid anchors. In its long form, Colin Jost has found his footing as quite a charming anchor of the seminal “Weekend Update” segment of the show, while his co-host Michael Che is slightly less than. The chemistry between the two is present, but never fully realized. They seemingly lack the genuine chemistry exhibited between former co-hosts, including the dynamic pairings of Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey, as well as Fey with Amy Poehler. The first time “Weekend Update” received a spin-off, Seth Meyers held down the fort entirely on his own. This time around, the spin-off has double the hosts, but half the exuberance. Perhaps an appearance by Baldwin will turn that around.

“Weekend Update Summer Edition,” which premiered Thursday, Aug. 10, will only have a brief run, as it fills the next three weeks on NBC. Even though the main series, “Saturday Night Live,” doesn’t return for season 43 until the fall, “Weekend Update Summer Edition” serves as a nice appetizer while viewers await the main course.

Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Summer Edition” premiered Aug. 10 on NBC and airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m ET.