There are two approaches to Saturday Night Live political impressions. The first is to mimic all of someone’s mannerisms as precisely as possible. Darrell Hammond’s Al Gore and Bill Clinton are classic examples; Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin fits here as well, aided by the hard-to-miss resemblance.
The other approach is to capture the essence of a person, even if—when you actually think about it—they don’t really sound or look all that much like them. Examples include Chevy Chase’s Gerald Ford, Norm MacDonald’s Bob Dole, Will Ferrell’s Dubya and Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton, who in any given 30 seconds of screen time exudes more energy than the actual Hillary has generated in her entire adult life.
Then there’s Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump. Baldwin’s Trump would seem to be in the first camp, as he expertly mimics Trump right down to his “tiny little butthole” of a mouth. But it’s impossible to forget that this isn’t The True Trump.
The best part is that in the midst of a frenzied presidential campaign, Trump took the time to watch SNL and review it, though tragically he denied America a critique of the set by musical guest Bruno Mars.
For one, the Oscar-nominated, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning Baldwin is simply too famous and his own liberal political views too well known for him ever to get lost in the role. Baldwin seems determined to remind us of this fact, sending multiple tweets objecting to an article that compared him personally to The Donald.
But more importantly, Saturday Night Live simply hasn’t ever encountered anyone quite like Donald Trump, who exists beyond punch lines. This is the man who during that debate called his opponent the devil, has put forward the defense that his accusers aren’t attractive enough to sexually assault, worries constantly about a “stolen” election before he’s had a chance to officially lose it and even seemed to imply he “wasn’t impressed” by Hillary‘s butt. (Which is odd, because he thought Marco Rubio’s ass was amazing.)
In the face of this stuff, Home Alone 2 jokes are weak sauce, indeed.
Happily, Trump seems determined to force SNL to up its game, tweeting:
“Watched Saturday Night Live hit job on me. Time to retire the boring and unfunny show. Alec Baldwin portrayal stinks. Media rigging election!”
Of course, the best part is that in the midst of a frenzied presidential campaign, Trump took the time to watch SNL and review it—indeed, not too long ago he found the time to host the program—though tragically he denied America a critique of the set by musical guest Bruno Mars.
Trump seems to be telling the nation: “I’m not happy with the show… but it still has my full attention.”
SNL needs to take advantage of this incredible opportunity.
Saturday Night Live has traditionally made a point of having politicians meet the people portraying them. (Much as SNL has already done when McKinnon collided with the actual Clinton.) For the skit on the third and final debate, clearly this must happen with Baldwin’s Trump and Donald’s more extreme version of the Trump character. This will not be a cutesy coming together with the audience giggling about what a good sport everyone is: It will be uncomfortable.
And it will be intense.
And it will likely be borderline incoherent.
In short, it will be just like the actual debate, with SNL making one final desperate attempt to give reality a run for the money as our presidential election officially plummets into uncharted territory.
Oh and if you somehow haven’t seen the town hall debate sketch yet, get your Ken Bone fix below…