Live from New York, It’s the Presidential Debate: Saturday Night Live’s Political Sketches


Alec Baldwin, left, as Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, and Kate Mckinnon, as Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, perform during the "Debate Cold Open" sketch on the 42nd season of "Saturday Night Live," in New York, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016.

Alec Baldwin, left, as Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, and Kate Mckinnon, as Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, perform during the “Debate Cold Open” sketch on the 42nd season of “Saturday Night Live,” in New York, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016.

By Jordan Norkus

Asst. Arts & Entertainment Editor

With Election Day right around the corner, the American television show, “Saturday Night Live,” has kicked off its 42 season with sketches about the recent presidential election debates.

The past three episodes have featured multiple political sketches that star Kate McKinnon as Democratic Party nominee, Hillary Clinton, and Alec Baldwin as Republican Party nominee, Donald Trump.

“Let’s have Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin as the new presidential nominees, please. Absolutely hysterical,” said junior Emily Shea.

On Sunday, Oct. 16 Trump shared what he thought about the sketches and Baldwin’s portrayal of him on Twitter.

“Watched Saturday Night Live hit job on me. Time to retire the boring and unfunny show. Alec Baldwin’s portrayal stinks. Media rigging election,” said Trump.

Although Trump was not pleased, students thought that Baldwin was the perfect choice.

“Alec Baldwin was an inspired casting choice for Trump,” said junior Edward Feeley.

Students also said that the recent political sketches have been better than ones from previous seasons.

“These are the best political sketches they’ve had in years,” said alumna Sarah Klaum, class of 2016. “Keeping Alec Baldwin on as a featured actor is one of the best decisions they’ve made in a long time.”

When comparing SNL’s political sketches to the actual debates, students found them to be similar.

“I love the skits,” said senior Emily Creighton. “Only now when I watch the real debates, they’re so ridiculous that I feel like I’m basically watching a SNL skit.”

Even before the sketches, many students found the debates comical.

“SNL must be loving this election because they barely have to alter what is already a comedic race,” said junior Mark Boyle.

While many students have found the sketches to be funny, some have found them biased against a particular party.

“I will say that although they should keep their skits unbiased, it seems that their recent political skits have been more left-winged,” said Boyle. “Perhaps their target market leans more toward liberals, but nevertheless, I would like to see future skits to be less biased. I think it makes for inaccurate depictions of the overall race.”

Boyle also said how the sketches focus too much attention on subjects that are beside the point.

“They show the bad in the election because it makes for better television,” said Boyle. “It’s funny, but they poke at what doesn’t matter.”

With the third presidential debate taking place on Wednesday, Oct. 19, students look forward to what SNL will do in its next political sketch.

“The sketches are wildly funny and SNL’s doing exactly what everybody’s thinking,” said freshman Justin Weigel.

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