“Saturday Night Live” kicked off its 42nd season, and all eyes were on Alec Baldwin as he played Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for the first time.
The show’s cold open played off the first presidential debate and featured Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton and Michael Che as moderator Lester Holt. The sketch, which NBC had promoted earlier in the week, interspersed references from the candidates’ real lives with the show’s signature comedic zingers — this time about Trump’s taxes, Clinton’s sometimes-impersonal demeanor and what some have called the general absurdity of this election.
Near the beginning of the bit, McKinnon hobbles on stage, cane in hand and coughing. But once the cane gets stuck, she somersaults into a more invigorated state, a riff on recent concerns about the Democratic presidential nominee’s health and a nod to the late Gene Wilder, whose Willy Wonka did the same move in the 1971 movie.
Stealing the show however was Baldwin’s lip-pursed impression of Trump, which came with the candidate’s signature hand gestures.
“She’s the one with the bad temperament,” he said, referencing a line from the debate. “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.”
“Saturday Night Live” returns in just enough time for the final stages of the election season. If this initial sketch is any hint, the show has a lot in store for audiences.
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