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'SNL' makes two references with local ties: 'Elf on the Shelf,' Andrew Lincoln's 'Love Actually' scene

This is posted on Sunday, December 18, 2016 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

"Saturday Night Live" made a couple of metro Atlanta-related references last night: "Elf on the Shelf" (created by two metro Atlanta women) and a breakthrough role for Andrew Lincoln, better known now as Rick Grimes on "The Walking Dead."

First up was the cold open skit featuring Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump bonding with Russian leader Vladamir Putin (played by Beck Bennett in all his shirtless glory). Putin places an Elf on the Shelf on Trump's mantle, telling the president elect to keep it near his router.

“You keep it there all year. It’s fun, yes?” Putin says.

The original "Elf in the Shelf" book came out in 2004, co-written by Carol Aebersold, a Powder Springs mother and her daughter Chanda Bell of Loganville. It's now a staple in retail stores and generated a CBS 30-minute TV special in 2011.

Then there was the "Love Actually" spoof. The 2003 film featured Andrew Lincoln, seven years before the local hit "The Walking Dead," playing the dude who was obsessed with his friend's wife, played by Kiera Knightley. And he did this with cue cards.

"SNL" had Kate McKinnon play Hillary Rodham Clinton as Lincoln's character. Cecily Strong takes Knightley's role but she is an elector and Clinton tries to convince her that she should vote for anybody but Trump. "The Rock," she suggested, followed by "A rock." She also believes that if Trump is president, "he will kill us all."

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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.