As promised, Saturday Night Lives 42nd season premiere opened with the highly-anticipated showdown between Kate McKinnons Clinton and Alec Baldwins Trump.
If this past Mondays first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was the most anticipated political event in modern history, then tonights parody version from Saturday Night Live wasnt too far behind.
Just as the show cast Larry David as Bernie Sanders last season, they have now brought on Alec Baldwin as a nearly-full time cast member to take on Donald Trumpmuch to Darrell Hammonds disappointment, no doubt. Following Matt Lauers kid-glove treatment of Trump and Jimmy Fallons even more laughable sit-down with the candidate, the stakes are high for SNL to avoid humanizing him the way they previously did with Will Ferrells George W. Bush and Tina Feys Sarah Palin. So how did they do?
At the top, Michael Che made a rare sketch appearance as moderator Lester Holt, who introduced a coughing Hillary Clinton and the man to blame for the bottom half of all his kids faces, Donald Trump.
Baldwin got Trumps podium-clutching and bizarre China pronunciations down perfectly. And while the real Trump waited until after the debate to complain about his microphone, he did so during the SNL debate. Beyond just interrupting Clinton with wrong, Baldwins Trump added Shut up!, admitted a make out session with Sean Hannity, and referred to Holt as both jazzman and Coltrane.
Just like the real Trump, Baldwin described Clinton in a way that sounded oddly familiar. I have the best judgment, and the best temperament, he said. Shes the one with the bad temperament. Shes always screaming. Shes constantly lying. Her hair is weird and her face is completely orange. Except around the eyes where its white. Once she stops talking her mouth looks like a tiny little butthole.
Instead of responding, Clinton yielded her two minutes back to Trump, who went on an unprovoked rant about the blacks. Asked by Holt what she thought about Trumps comments at one moment, Clinton said, I think Im going to be president. After another of his rants, she said she didnt have a response, more of a request: can America vote right now?
For most of the sketch, SNL used the candidates exact words as parody because there was no way they could come up with anything funnier. But their respective closing statements summed up their campaigns to date even better than the candidates have been able to do themselves.
Listen, America. I get it. You hate me, Clinton said into the camera. You hate my voice, and you hate my face. Well, heres a tip: If you never want to see my face again, elect me president, and I swear to God I will lock myself in the Oval Office and not come out for four years. But if you dont elect me, I will continue to run for president until the day I die.
Trump, unsurprisingly, went a different direction. After bringing up Bill Clintons White House affair, he said, Its true. My investigators are looking into it right now. It was a woman named Monica. Very heavy. I dont have her last name yet but when I get it, Im going to set my alarm for 3:20 a.m. and go sit on my golden toilet bowl and tweet about it until completion.
In the end, SNL perceived the debate the same way that the rest of the media and a majority of Americans did. Clinton may have been overprepared, but was clearly having the time of her life. And Trump came off like a straight-up crazy person.