SNL Opens with Hilarious Trump and Clinton Debate Skit
By James Lang
The first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was pretty widely reported to be a resounding win for the former Secretary of State. Held at Hofstra University in New York, it was the first one-on-one political debate that Trump has ever participated in, and it showed. And, true to form, SNL didn’t miss a beat. They recruited some of the best impersonators I’ve ever seen to play Trump (Alec Baldwin) and Clinton (Kate McKinnon), along with moderator Lester Holt (Michael Che).
The Impersonators Practiced as Much as the Real Candidates
The cold open for Saturday’s show was unbelievably canny. Of course, there were virtually zero direct quotes. But, the tone and overall match-up was so well represented, a few friends of mine thought it was from the actual debate (granted, they’re not big on politics). Alec Baldwin clearly had spent extensive time in make-up, getting every detail right. The time he spent practicing (unlike the real Donald Trump) the unique body language and gestures that the Donald is famous for really paid off.
Clinton’s famous shimmy was perfectly recreated by McKinnon, a long-time Hillary Clinton impersonator on SNL. Baldwin over-emphasized Trump’s awkward pronunciation of “China” or “Gina”.
It’s Either Laugh or Cry This Time Around
Overall, I felt that the slams and jabs were even-handed and tied closely to what actually occurred. Trump really did checkout after the first few minutes of the debate. Hillary came across as disingenuous and scripted (nothing new). This election has turned into a vote against, rather than for candidates, with the majority of Americans hating both options this time around. But, at least SNL can pick up the pieces and make us laugh, regardless of political persuasion!