SNL’s Debate Sketch Put This Election Right Where It Belongs

by Leo Shvedsky

October 2, 2016

Alec Baldwin is no stranger to playing overconfident and under-informed blowhards. That was his whole deal for several seasons as co-star of 30 Rock. And the Academy Award-nominated actor didn’t disappoint in his return to NBC last night, helping open the new season of “Saturday Night Live” with a hilarious take of last week’s first presidential debate.

Baldwin donned a blonde wig and some prosthetic makeup to portray Donald Trump to perfection while Kate McKinnon continued her spot on impersonation of Hillary Clinton. Of course, most of the reactions to the sketch were about Trump but in the 9-minute-clip Clinton takes plenty of jabs, mostly knocking her for being a mediocre, overly-scripted candidate who is walking away with the election as her too-crazy-to-believe opponent self-destructs on the debate stage.

After answering one question, Trump declared, “I won the debate. It is over. I stayed calm just like I promised.”

But when told there is still 88 minutes more to go, Trump immediately panics, beginning a long rant that includes such all-too-true complaints like, “they stole my microphone and took it to Kenya.”

Some other highlights:

On Trump’s view of the Iraq war: “I was against the war, ask anyone named Sean Hannity.”

On Clinton’s trying to paint Trump as out of touch: “He’s spent his whole life cheating middle class laborers. Laborers like my own human father. … He was relatable and I am also relatable.”

On Clinton’s “spontaneous” attack, bringing up a former Miss Universe contestant that Trump ridiculed:  “Alicia Machadao. She is a strong, beautiful, political prop that I almost forgot to bring up tonight even though we already made a web video about her.”

Of course, with all of the Trump zingers, funny as they were, they could have almost been lifted verbatim from actual comments made by the Republican presidential nominee. But that’s how good Baldwin and McKinnon were, they managed to make something that was already a farce even funnier. Like when Trump wanted to bring the debate back to one of his favorite talking points:

“We should be talking about the important issues like Rosie O’Donnell and how she’s a fat loser.” 

We have to wait another week before we see the actual candidates take part in their second debate and it’s hard to believe they will be giving the “SNL” cast even funnier material to work with. Maybe for the sake of our democracy we should hope they don’t.

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SNL’s Debate Sketch Put This Election Right Where It Belongs