Alec Baldwin returned to Saturday Night Live as Donald Trump during the season premiere’s cold opening, taking aim at his handling of Puerto Rico and use of Twitter. For several decades, the ability to impersonate at least one political figure seems to have been one of the requirements of the cast of SNL. From Dan Akroyd’s Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter to Dana Carvey’s Ross Perot to Will Ferrell’s George Bush to Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin, the comedy show has offered hilarious insights to politics as a matter of tradition. And whether a political figure is popular or not, Republican, Democrat, or other, no one is safe from the show’s biting wit.
When it came to the 2016 Presidential election, the show’s cold opening became dedicated to the debates between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. While SNL regular Kate McKinnon took on Clinton, it was a guest star who nailed the Trump impersonation – Alec Baldwin. And once the election was over, Baldwin returned over and over again to play Trump. The actor’s imitation may have been insulted by Trump himself, but fans of the show tuned in each week to see the comedic take on the country’s current political situations.
While Baldwin eventually took a break from showing up on the show every week, he returned for the 43rd season premiere last night. And while he and the writers had an entire summer worth of politics to use for material, the show stayed with the events of the past week – North Korea, the football player’s “take a knee” protest, and the current state of Puerto Rico. Saturday Night Live shared the video of the show’s cold opening under the title ‘The Chaos President’ which you can watch above.
Aside from Baldwin, the sketch also features a host of other imitations, including Kate McKinnon as Jeff Sessions (aside from Sessions and Clinton she has also played Kellyanne Conway alongside Baldwin’s Trump), Aidy Bryant as Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Melissa Villaseñor as Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, and Alex Moffat as Senator Chuck Schumer.
The cold opening started with Trump talking on the phone to Mayor Cruz about Puerto Rico’s current disaster in the face of Hurricane Maria, with Baldwin repeating the President’s comments and tweets which showed he was unclear that Puerto Rico is an American territory and was delaying or even preventing assistance. This was followed with him and Bryant’s Sanders discussing all the people who have quit or been fired from working for Trump since he took office, as well as his master plan to create chaos and cofuse the American people. From there, McKinnon’s Sessions tried to win favor with the President, willing to take punishments such as firing or being spanked but deathly afraid of being tweeted about. But Trump forgot all about Sessions when fellow New Yorker – Moffat’s Schumer – showed up to take him out for a slice of pizza.
While the President’s supporters might feel like Baldwin’s imitation is unfair and unfunny, fans of the show can’t get enough of these skits. They are so popular that other non-hosting guest stars have been invited in to cover the sheer number of imitations, such as John Goodman as Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson and Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer. With political imitations having such a history over the years on SNL, it certainly seems likely that these political cold openings will continue. Which the show’s fans – and Trump’s detractors – probably consider good news indeed.
Saturday Night Live airs at 11:30 PM on Saturdays on NBC.
Source: Saturday Night Live
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