9:25pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'SNL' Takes on Jussie Smollett Scandal in "Shark Tank" Parody
In a parody of Shark Tank called "Shark Tank: Legal Edition," the cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live played controversial lawyers who listened to pitches from scandal-embroiled celebrities asking them to take on their cases, including Jussie Smollett, who was arrested for allegedly falsifying a police report for his own assault.
SNL's Chris Redd played Smollett and was dressed in the same attire the Empire actor donned during his Good Morning America interview with Robin Roberts. "I was just attacked outside the studio by Donald Trump himself," Redd’s Smollett told the mock Sharks.
When they informed him that there were cameras outside that could prove whether his attack was real, Redd’s Smollett took back his story (according to Chicago law enforcement, Smollett intended to capture his attack on a surveillance camera, but the camera wasn't angled in the proper direction). Redd's Smollett later offered Empire spoilers in turn for someone taking on his case.
Assuming the seats of the legal Sharks, Pete Davidson appeared as Stormy Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti; Cecily Strong played Fox News host Jeanine Pirro; the evening’s host John Mulaney played Alan Dershowitz; and Kate McKinnon reprised her impression of Rudy Giuliani.
Beck Bennett also played the first contestant, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who was recently charged with misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution and also searching for legal assistance.
SNL continued to poke fun at Smollett during the "Weekend Update" segment. Colin Jost made a jab at Smollett as he compared him to a man who got arrested for faking his own abduction to avoid paying money he owed in a Super Bowl pool. "Worse, the man had just lost his job on Empire," he said.
Avenatti later addressed the sketch on his Twitter, joking that he would take on the role of Davidson for next week's episode to return the favor. He followed that up with what appeared to be two Trump-inspired tweets.
To kickoff Saturday night's show, Ben Stiller reprised his guest role as Michael Cohen to parody the former Trump lawyer's testimony to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. SNL alum Bill Hader also made a cameo as Congressman Jim Jordan in the cold open.