Gaffes, Guns, Grizzly Bears: SNL Hits DeVos on Expertise


It was only three minutes instead of 60, but SNL dove into the lingering question of Betsy DeVos’s expertise on education issues.

The sketch came a week after a 60 Minutes interview where DeVos stumbled on questions about how schools in her home state of Michigan were performing, eventually saying she would “hesitate to talk about all schools, in general, because schools are made up of individual students attending them.”

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Perhaps the most cringeworthy moment came when DeVos said she had “not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming.”

“Maybe you should,” said Lesley Stahl.

“Maybe I should,” DeVos said, spreading her lips in a smile and nodding her head. “Yes.”

McKinnon, acting as DeVos, attempted to explain the slip on SNL’s Weekend Update:

“The problem is the words that came out of my mouth were bad,” she said, keeping her head bobbing and a smile glued to her face. “And that is because they came from my brain.”

Regardless of where you fall on DeVos, you have to admit SNL’s writers have picked up on her calls for more state and local control.

“I don’t like to think of things in terms of school,” McKinnon said. “It should be up to the states. In Wyoming, for example, which has many potential grizzlies, there should be a school for bears … And in North Carolina, stop being trans, and that’s what’s best for them."

McKinnon’s DeVos made a brief SNL appearance in February, but could barely suggest guns in schools for grizzlies when Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer shoved her off the dais.

There’s good news and bad news for the real Betsy DeVos. The good news is that she will be testifying at the House Appropriations hearing tomorrow and has a chance to counter the image that she is inexperienced. 

The bad news, of course, is that DeVos is testifying tomorrow, and those have not gone well in the past. 

For the record, the news out of last year’s DeVos House Appropriations hearing wasn’t a gaffe—it was DeVos refusing say whether a school should receive federal funding if they discriminate against LGBT students.

At the end of the SNL sketch, McKinnon softened her voice a notch as she made eye contact with the camera. 

“Look,” she said. “I might not be very good on camera. But behind the scenes, my ideas are much worse.”