Steve Barnes has the right attitude when it comes to the “Saturday Night Live” parodies of the law firm he and Ross Cellino own.
For the second time this season, “Cellino & Barnes” got some priceless advertising on the legendary late-night comedy program.
In December, “Weekend Update” co-host Colin Jost cracked he believed President Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, who I believe “is the love child of Cellino & Barnes” as a photo of the two lawyers appeared briefly over Jost's shoulder.
On Saturday, “SNL’s” Alex Moffat played Cellino and Kyle Mooney played Barnes in a skit called “Legal Shark Tank.”
Cellino and Barnes were the guest lawyers on a panel show that included actors playing lawyers Michael Avenatti, Jeanine Pirro, Alan Dershowitz and Rudy Giuliani defending famous celebrities.
The Buffalo lawyers were introduced as “the jingle-based attorneys” in a very funny skit in which New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett were potential clients.
At least, I thought it was funny. What did the firm think?
In an email, Barnes, clearly enjoyed the attention and the free advertising.
“I thought it was hilarious,” wrote Barnes. “ 'SNL' and other national shows have mentioned Cellino & Barnes, our trademarked telephone number, and our jingle on many occasions over the years. We’re flattered that our brand has developed to the point where it has meaning and immediate recognition by SNL’s national audience; I know of no other law firm brand that enjoys this kind of recognition nationally. I thought that the guys playing us were very funny.”
In case you may have thought only Western New Yorkers might get the joke, anyone who visits New York City and Long Island knows that “Cellino & Barnes” has offices there and their jingle is frequently heard on downstate television.
As funny as the “Shark Tank” skit was, it was topped by a skit, “What’s That Name?,” featuring former “SNL” alumnus Bill Hader and guest host John Mulaney, who started Saturday's program with an outstanding stand-up routine.
Hader was the host of a show that featured contestants played by Mulaney and "SNL" regular Cecily Strong who were asked the names of their best friend’s wife, the bridesmaids of their wives and a few other people they didn’t pay attention to and should have known.
The skit was hilarious, partly because we all could have been the people who made fools of ourselves in that situation.
As I tweeted Sunday afternoon after watching the program on my DVR, the first 45 minutes of Saturday’s “SNL” had me laughing more than I have all season.
If you haven’t seen the episode, you can see clips online or head to On Demand.