NEW YORK • The feud between Mr Donald Trump and Saturday Night Live reached a new level when the United States President-elect responded on Twitter to the show's mockery of his reckless tweeting.
The show's cold open last Saturday depicted Mr Trump (portrayed by Alec Baldwin, as usual) retweeting various people while in a security briefing.
As Mr Trump fawns over the Twitter biography of a 16-year-old named Seth and retweets him, Kate McKinnon (playing Trump strategist Kellyanne Conway) breaks the fourth wall to look directly into the camera and address the audience: "He really did do this."
McKinnon's Conway tries to explain Mr Trump's penchant for tweeting: "He does it to distract the media from his business conflicts and all of the very scary people in his Cabinet."
But Baldwin's Mr Trump has another reason: "I do it because my brain is bad."
The sketch ended with Mr Trump calling for his chief strategist Steve Bannon who then enters in the guise of the Grim Reaper. Bannon used to run Breitbart News, which has been criticised as a platform for white supremacists and anti-Semitism.
The real-life Mr Trump on other occasions has tweeted his criticism the next morning, but this time, he fired away before the show ended.
He responded on Twitter just minutes after the skit was broadcast. He used similar language as he has in the past, writing: "Just tried watching Saturday Night Live - unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can't get any worse. Sad."
Baldwin fired back: "Release your tax returns and I'll stop. Ha."
A separate skit covered Mrs Hillary Clinton's recent hikes through the woods, in the form of an investigative docu-series called "The Hunt for Hil".
SNL has a tradition of mocking presidents, but it appears Mr Trump will be the first commander-in- chief who mocks it back. In the final months before the election, he called the show "boring" and "unfunny", and said Baldwin's impersonation of him "stinks".
Some might have expected these retorts to cease after he won the presidency. But when SNL returned last week, he still snapped back: "I watched parts of @nbcsnl Saturday Night Live last night. It is a totally one-sided, biased show - nothing funny at all. Equal time for us?"
Is this going to be a weekly tradition?
NYTIMES, WASHINGTON POST