The biggest news tonight, naturally, is an actual, viable presidential candidate on the show, in the form of presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Miley Cyrus kicked off the Season 41 premiere of Saturday Night Live on Saturday, October 3, with a muppet-inspired outfit and weed jokes.
As a foil to Kate McKinnon’s Clinton impression-which soared mightily like a feminist eagle-Hillary Clinton played the sympathetic bartender, Val. Right out of the gate on SNL, the real Hillary Clinton got to look at McKinnon’s image of Hillary Clinton, defining herself as a “grandmother” and “a human”, and say, “Oh, I get it. You’re a politician”.
But three of the sketches that will be most remembered didn’t include Cyrus at all: Hillary Clinton Meets Her Doppelganger, Sorority Girls Wake Up To A World Filled With Taylor Swift Squad Clones and Donald And Melania Trump Talks About His Being President. She commiserates, as a “normal, everyday person” does, with her barkeep, Val-played by the former First Lady.
“First, I’m a grandmother”. Thompson once again shines in this bit as a boss who is straight-up bewildered when Cyrus’ character accuses him of attacking her after telling her she needs to do her job. A prescription drug that makes people realize they aren’t viable candidates for president is a political cartoon in the newspaper at best, and it was stretched far too long without any value added.
Ms Clinton also visited the show during 2008, when she ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination which was won by Barack Obama. Those impressions quickly turn to recreations of past events in life of Jones’ character, leading to a few amusing non-sequiturs (“I CAN’T HAVE A FREAKING BABY, I’M A DANCER!”). But live on-air Saturday night, Clinton was great. Her impressionist Amy Poehler busted out an SNLified version of the Clinton chuckle to which Clinton responded, “Do I really laugh like that?”. It’s in putting on a ridiculous spectacle and then somehow, miraculously, making us think – even cry? – about real things, even when she doesn’t mean to.
“You could have supported it sooner”, McKinnon said with a wink. Nonetheless, it’s hard to argue that Sarah Palin’s weekly roast on the show didn’t contribute to her ticket’s downfall.
Clinton, like many an “SNL” guest, relied heavily on cue cards for most of her lines.
But it’s one exchange that summed up the transparent campaign goal Clinton set out to accomplish by appearing on SNL, and the one SNL was more than happy to help her achieve.
The duo ended the sketch with a rendition of “Lean on Me”. Mooney’s mounting frustration expressed through a near-dead pan was great (I loved his angry insistence that his friends didn’t need Miley’s “extra money”), and the signature Good Neighbor weird escalation got insane without getting uncomfortable.
This sketch of Clinton as bartender depicts her second entry to “Saturday Night Live“.