Saturday Night Live didn’t waste any time reviving SNL’s “Shirtless Putin” character (played by actor Beck Bennett) to make fun of Trump’s poor turnout at his inauguration.
Shirtless Putin congratulates President Trump on his large inauguration turnout before realizing that the large mass of people he is talking about is actually the Women’s March, which is protesting Trump. Despite Obama’s inauguration’s drawing more than a million people to celebrate the day, Trump’s inauguration only attracted approximately 200,000 people. Far more people turned up to march against Trump at the Women’s March. Shirtless Putin wastes no time pointing this out and taking this opportune moment to address the concerns of the horrified Americans who wonder what will come next with Trump as President.
Shirtless Putin satirically tries to comfort the hundreds of thousands of Americans who are marching and worried about what will happen now that Trump has been inaugurated by saying that the United States is not actually in Trump’s hands, but his own. “I will make everything OK,” Shirtless Putin remarks with a grin.
SNL actress Kate McKinnon then appears dressed as a Russian woman to read a prepared and clearly coerced statement about how happy Russian women are under Putin’s control. “Every day I wake up with big smile on my face,” McKinnon reads from her notecards before stifling a shout of disgust and being handed her rations by Shirtless Putin.
Shirtless Putin returns to talk to the screen and addresses the newly inaugurated President Trump directly by saying, “Let’s talk as friends.” Putin then compares footage of the large crowd of Trump protestors to the much smaller crowd of Trump supporters at the inauguration. “You were off to a great start, man,” Putin tells Trump, “I thought you’d be better at this.”
Putin mocks Trump for telling the CIA that a million people came to see him in Washington D.C., when those million people were actually protesters rather than supporters. Ready to share plenty of tips with Trump on how to become a more dictator-like President, Shirtless Putin suggests that if Trump is going to lie that he shouldn’t make the lie so obvious. Putin offers the example that perhaps President Trump could say he is friends with professional basketball player LeBron James rather than claiming to be LeBron James.
Putin also mocks Trump’s inauguration speech as being bleak and “heavy on the God stuff.” Putin remarks that he’s never heard Trump use the word God so much, even though Putin has tapes of Trump having sex. Thus, Putin implies that he is blackmailing the new President and has everything under his own control.
Putin closes the skit by addressing the American people once more with hope that the United States and Russia will have a good relationship. He jokes that Russia can provide the American people with so many things they need, such as oil and pornography. He taunts with a sneer that if people in the United States just trust in Trump that one day the American people could be as happy as the Russians are.