Rating SNL’s final debate sketch
AWEEK after drawing an unhappy response from Donald Trump for its portrayal of him in its spoof of the second presidential debate, Saturday Night Live didn’t back down on the third one.
Featuring the debate again in its cold open – this time with Tom Hanks playing moderator Chris Wallace – Alec Baldwin’s Trump was as brutish and offensive as ever.
At one point, Trump forgets the name of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and calls him “Señor Guacamole”, his wife “Taquito”, and his kids “Chips” and “Salsa”. He offers the world’s most meandering and nonsensical answer to a question about the Iraqi city of Mosul. There’s even a subtle jab at Trump’s strange comment that he would date daughter Ivanka if she weren’t his daughter.
The sketch had some fun with the audience laughter that was clearly heard when Trump said that nobody respects women more than he does. It zooms out to outer space to show the whole planet laughing at the comment.
And, yes, there were jabs at Clinton, too. When asked about her emails, she offers the most transparent pivot ever to avoid answering the question. There is a jab at her instantly exploiting Trump’s “nasty woman” comment for political gain. And she assures us that she would be a “stone-cold B” as president.
But the butt of most of the jokes – and the toughest jokes – was again Trump, whose over-the-top rhetoric and style were just made for these sketches. Trump will see this tougher treatment as bias against him and part of what he has deemed the vast media conspiracy against him. But he’s just eminently more lampoon-able. It’s the persona he has crafted for himself.
This is the final debate sketch we’ll see, given that there aren’t any more debates. Perhaps none of them were classic SNL, but they certainly captured the strangeness of the 2016 debates. And when we look back at this campaign, they’ll be a part of it. JUST 24 hours after engaging in fierce verbal combat in their final debate in Las Vegas and refusing to shake hands, Clinton and Trump were nearly elbow to elbow again, seated at the same table at the ballroom in the Waldorf Astoria, at a charity dinner famous for its humorous speeches.
If the October 19 debate raised the question whether the two New Yorkers vying for the nation’s highest office could deliver a knock-out blow or take a punch, their next-day encounter tested each’s ability to deliver a punchline and take a joke.
The dinner’s namesake, Smith was New York’s 42nd governor and the nation’s first Catholic presidential candidate. He was known as “the Happy Warrior” for the good humour with which he railed against political adversaries.
As has been the custom, the audience of 1500 was dressed in whitetie
Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon portray Donald Trump and Hillary on Saturday Night Live on October 22.