Saturday Night Live: Natalie Portman Amidala rap is a memo-rable high

“Better than Martin Luther King’s I Dream of Jeannie speech”: the president (Alec Baldwin) is reflecting on the greatness of his first State of the Union from the comfort of his White House bedroom. “Who’s the most innocent guy in the whole wide world?” he says.

She hands Portman a bouquet of ugly flowers. “I believe you are Tonya Harding, baby!” Jones screams.

First sketch: the constitutional convention in 1776, where the Boston patriots, lead by Portman (and Rachel Dratch, who’s popping by), are celebrating their Bunker Hill victory in obnoxious style.

“Frankly, I’m willing to lose this whole war if it means not seeing them win again,” says a man in a tri-cornered hat played by Kyle Mooney. Then there’s a cameo from Tina Fey as the leader of a Philadelphia contingent, who plan to “punch a police horse”. This all seems kind of mean to football fans. Maybe football fans deserve it? Maybe I need to learn more about football fans than what I’ve seen in Friday Night Lights.

Portman and cast members march out one at a time in a mediocre Stranger Things sketch (Portman plays Eleven, of course) but this is far surpassed by what’s next. Portman has made a sequel to her iconic 2006 rap and it’s hilarious, especially when she appears as an aggro Queen Amidala.

“Say something about the motherfucking prequels, bitch,” she says through bleeps, brandishing a gun, before Andy Samberg sings a quick bridge and Portman sticks a Times Up pin in the middle of Beck Bennett’s forehead. It’s an instant classic.

Musical guest! Dua Lipa sings New Rules. Her backup singers are wearing dresses that look like the silk bathrobes you get when you’re a bridesmaid for one of your sorority sisters.

Weekend Update opens with the memo. You know, the memo.

“First of all,” says Michael Che, “you know damn well Donald Trump didn’t read this memo. It’s four pages long.”

Cecily Strong and McKinnon are here as Catherine Deneuve and Brigitte Bardot, to explain why French actresses have pushed back against the #MeToo movement.

“I don’t want romance to die,” says Strong, while McKinnon stares into space.

“Free Harvey Weinstein,” McKinnon says, at last. “Why does a woman have a breast? It’s for a man to grab and pull.”

The next guest is Pete Davison, who joins to talk about his experience making a TV commercial, which is quite sad. “What happened to your hand?” says Jost, looking at a bandage.

“I punched a door,” says Davison, “because I’ve got mental problems.”

The final guest: Che’s “neighbor Willie”, played by Thompson, who’s here to cheer us up about the season. For Valentine’s Day he bought “one of those super-realistic dolls off the internet”. She came in a black bag with a zipper and has a toe tag. Is this the first necrophilia joke in my career as an SNL correspondent? Wow.

Next! “My butt is my face and my face is my butt,” says Beck Bennett. He’s an alien to Portman’s glamorous spaceship captain, and they’re about to make love in a space bedroom. “You’re talking out of your butt?” she says. “Yes,” he says, “like every other man.”

“Has your butt always been your face?” she says.

“Sometimes you just have to put on a brave ass and accept that life can be a real facehole.”

It’s an inspired performance from them both.

The next sketch, in which Portman plays a Nickelodeon host with a sore throat, falls a bit flat in comparison.

Moving on: apparently Melania Trump likes Strong’s portrayal of her, so she’ll love this skit in which Strong meets the ghosts of various First Ladies. Portman plays Jackie Kennedy, of course.

“All First Ladies have a platform,” she says, “yours is bullying, and mine is little hats.”

“No First Lady has been more humiliated than me!” Melania says, but then Hillary Clinton (McKinnon) appears.

“I feel your pain,” she says, “but you married him, and like America you had a choice, so don’t choose to eat 7-11 sushi and then come to me and say, ‘Something’s wrong!’”

“Maybe being first lady just means being with someone you don’t really like who doesn’t treat you very well,” Martha says.

“Speak for yourself,” says Michelle Obama (Jones). “My arms rule … and I can be president whenever I want.”

Portman wears a Ms magazine t-shirt to introduce Dua Lipa’s second song – a righteous fashion choice. Lipa sings Homesick while sitting on a piano.

And finally: Portman, Strong and Gardner are analysing their love lives over martinis in a bar.

“Am I being too picky?” says Portman. “Yes,” says Bryant – she’s sitting next to them in a mousy blonde wig and a Carhartt jacket. “I’m here to meet a guy I’ve been catfishing, but he didn’t show,” she says. This sketch feels a little under-realized, which is perhaps why it’s the last one.

And that’s going to be the last one for some time: SNL is going on hiatus during the Olympics. But don’t worry: NBC really is sending Leslie Jones to cover it.