Following on from the first official Presidential debate on 26th September, Saturday Night Live aired their version of Trump vs Clinton on Saturday 1st October.
Since its release it has been viewed 12million times on YouTube and over 17million times on Facebook.
The Emmy winning SNL performer Kate McKinnon excellently plays the role of Hillary Clinton, taking on many of the Democrat’s nuances, body language and mannerisms – including her accustomed ‘shimmy’.
McKinnon’s Clinton is a bit manic and overly cheerful, but counters Trump’s ludicrous quips with clearly what the actual Clinton was thinking if not voicing last Monday. For example after a long crazed rambling by ‘Trump’ about his microphone not working and how it must have been taken to Kenya by Clinton and Obama, the host asks Clinton what she thinks of Trump’s latest statement, with her hand propping up her head on the desk in disbelief, she responds, “I think I’m going to be President!” Throughout she manages to aptly embody Clinton, adding several moments of comedy to the broader jokes of the skit, making her far more than just a buffer for Baldwin’s Trump.
McKinnon’s biggest laugh came about when she out context to what was being debated manages to bring up, “He [Trump] spent his life cheating middle-class labourers, labourers like my own human father, who made…err…I guess drapes or printed drapes or sold drapes or something with drapes. He was relatable. And I am also relatable.”
For all McKinnon’s comedic brilliance, it couldn’t but be overshadowed by Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump. The 58-year old actor and native New Yorker (just like Trump) has hosted the show a record 16 times, but this is his first impersonation of the Republican presidential candidate. His body shape was already right, but managed to nail his stance, gait and awkward stoop into the microphone. As well as that, the wig was perfect, the skin tone was spot on and the voice was uncannily correct.
Just like on Monday, Baldwin constantly interrupts McKinnnon with ‘wrong’, ‘incorrect’, ‘shuttup’, etc, in the very ‘Trump’ pompous, matter-of-fact way. As well as that the skit’s recurring joke was Trump’s odd pronunciation and obsession with ‘China’, which Baldwin excellently portrays.
They hit on one of the Democrat’s key points against Trump: Trump not releasing his tax return. At one point McKinnon says in reference to his taxes, “this means either he’s not that rich, not that charitable, or he’s never paid taxes in his life.” To which Baldwin retorts, “Wrong. Wrong. Warmer,” to her three options.
The skit takes digs at both candidates. It naturally hits Trump harder, where there is more room for comedy thanks to the controversial nature of the Republican candidate. However, too lampoons Clinton’s constant concerted efforts to seem relatable and to avoid the image of her being the political class in stark comparison to her opponent.
Alec Baldwin as Trump is one of the best Trump impressions I’ve seen. He sounds almost just like him and the mannerisms are spot on 😂 #SNL
— Amber (@Lil_Sicilian) October 2, 2016
— Herb Mitchell (@Pelicaine) October 2, 2016
Alec Baldwin showed up more prepared for the #SNLPremiere debate satire than Trump did for the actual debate.
— Daniel José Older (@djolder) October 2, 2016