Last night, Saturday Night Live kicked off its 42nd season with a bang by serving up a killer cold open parodying the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The show made waves earlier this week when it announced that Alec Baldwin would be taking on the role of Trump for the duration of the election cycle, supplanting Saturday Night Live vet and current announcer Darrell Hammond's uncanny impression.
While Baldwin lacked a lot of the tics that made Hammond's version of the "The Donald" so entertaining, he more than made up for it with his over-the-top, blustery attitude. When asked about his temperament, Baldwin's Trump became totally unhinged. "She’s the one with the bad temperament. She’s always screaming. She’s constantly lying. Her hair is crazy. Her face is completely orange, except around the eyes where it’s white.” The sniffing, the weird pronunciation of the word China ("Gi-na" as in...you know) and the personal attacks on Rosie O'Donnell—it was all there.
As for Clinton, McKinnon came out Willie Wonka style, leaning heavily on a cane only to roll into a somersault and reveal that she was totally fine. While Clinton was universally hailed as the winner of the debate, and some of the best moments of the sketch were McKinnon's reactions to Trump's insane ramblings and proclamations, there were huge laughs at the former Secretary of State's attempt to humanize herself by way of her stilted delivery on "Trumped up, trickle down economics," and the mentions of her blue collar father who, "who made, I guess, drapes, or printed drapes or sold drapes, something with drapes—he was relatable and I am also relatable.”
It was an uproarious way to kick off the new season and a promising start for the show's take on the last months of the presidential campaign.