8:47pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'SNL' Spoofs Gayle King's Explosive R. Kelly Interview in Cold Open
In the cold open of the latest installment of NBC's Saturday Night Live, Kenan Thompson played R. Kelly in a parody of the musician's recent televised interview with Gayle King, played by Leslie Jones. The interview, which aired on CBS News, focused on the many allegations of sex abuse against Kelly.
In the sketch version, Thompson's Kelly kept breaking out into song and asked Jones' King to call him "victim."
When asked why he was willing to do the interview, Thompson's Kelly said, "Because people think that I’m some kind of monster. I’m here to remove all the doubt. My lawyer was telling me no, but my ego, my ego, was telling me yes."
"Look, I made a lot of mistakes in my life," Thompson's Kelly said. "Maybe I can't read, or write, or math ... but I'm still a person. I pull on my pants one sleeve at a time."
Thompson's Kelly also commented on the documentary Surviving R. Kelly, which detailed the musician's long history of alleged abuse, saying it made him out to be "the devil."
"I'm not the devil, and even if I was, you can't think of one nice thing to say about the devil?" he said.
"I really want to laugh right now, but I can't tell if this interview is a prank on you or a prank on me,” Jones’ King said, incredulous.
In the CBS interview, Kelly famously stood up and towered over King, screaming and crying. Spoofing that moment, Thompson's Kelly said, "Guys, think for a minute! Use your brain! Why would I do these things? For 30 years! I gave y'all 'Trapped in the Closet,' 'Feelin' on Yo Booty,' 'Age Ain't Nothing But a Number.’ And so many other clues! And this is how you repay me?"
Remaining calm, Jones’ King told him, “Robert, you’ve been combative, defensive and completely unhinged, but somehow you expect us to believe you are completely innocent?"
"That would be ideal, yes," he responded.
Pete Davidson later addressed the Kelly allegations again in a segment during the "Weekend Update" segment.