In its season premiere earlier this month, Saturday Night Live perfectly encapsulated the first presidential debate by casting the positively gleeful Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton against the snarling, unhinged Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump.
By week two, Trump was embroiled in a scandal over comments he made in 2005 about “grabbing” women “by the pussy.” These revelations, which emerged on a Friday, should have been a goldmine for SNL the following night. But ultimately there was almost something too disgusting about watching Baldwin’s Trump say things like, “If you give me a chance I promise I can do a whole lot more than just grab it.”
But with Baldwin and McKinnon back together sharing the stage in the town hall debate setting this week, SNL was right back where it needs to be.
“Hello and welcome to the second and worst ever presidential debate,” Cecily Strong’s Martha Raddatz began, before introducing the two candidates: “Republican nominee Donald Trump and — can we say this yet? — President Hillary Clinton.”
As always, McKinnon’s Clinton was overly prepared and not taking any chances while Baldwin’s Trump was grotesquely unhinged. When the 2005 tape came up, Trump said, “Listen, what I said is nothing compared to what Bill Clinton has done. OK? He has abused women. And Martha, Anderson, hold on to your nips and your nuts, because four of these women are here tonight.” While those women needed to be “respected and have their voices heard,” he suggested the women accusing him of sexual assault “shut the hell up.”
Clinton feigned distress before saying, “Get real, I’m made of steel. This is nothing. Hi, girls.”
The rest of the sketch consisted of Trump ominously stalking Clinton like the shark from Jaws before “the one, the only” Ken Bone made his adorable appearance. As in the real debate, this one ended with the two candidates saying something positive about each other.
“Donald Trump and I disagree on almost everything, but I do like how generous he is,” Clinton said. “Just last Friday, he handed me this election.”
As for Trump, he said, “I like that she's a fighter and she doesn't give up, which is why I need all my supporters to get out and vote on Election Day. Mark your calendars, write it down, here's the date: it's November 35th.”