On Saturday night Live's vital satire

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Julia Stevens

The Presidential debates are an extremely important part of the election process. They allow constituents to see how the candidates answer tough questions and how they hold up against each other under the pressure of these questions.
Presidential candidates former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Democrat, and business and real estate mogul Donald Trump, Republican, went head-to-head in three debates over the course of the last month. The first was held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., the second at Longwood University in Farmville, Va. and the third and final debate was held at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
The candidates spoke about many important issues in the debates, including abortion, foreign policy and immigration. But what has been most talked about is the unbelievably inappropriate ridiculousness that is Donald Trump.
If you’re like me and didn’t have the heart or stomach to sit through the whole 90-minutes of talking in circles and interruptions, there is hope for you to stay informed. A small television program called Saturday Night Live provided the highlights of each debate in easy to watch nine-minute videos.
Kate McKinnon is Secretary Clinton in a near-perfect portrayal, dialing up the “I’m cool, I’m hip, I’m relatable” attitude that Clinton always gives off. McKinnon and the SNL writers don’t hold back, making a point to show that while she’s the candidate they prefer, she definitely has her flaws, and they hold no qualms with exploiting those flaws. Kate McKinnon nailed the voice, mannerisms and weird shimmying so well that it’s reminiscent of Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin in 2008.
If the writers don’t hold back for Clinton, they go after Trump like Voldemort going after Harry Potter. Alec Baldwin is the perfect Trump, ever-so-slightly exaggerating the gesticulations and facial expressions of the candidate. He rambles about anything and everything that’s got nothing to do with the questions being asked, interrupts whoever is speaking and is the color of a pumpkin two days after Halloween. The writers and Baldwin of course dial up the makeup and mannerisms, but like McKinnon, everything is pretty true to form.
The first debate parody had some really excellent moments, like when Clinton walked out with a can coughing, as the moderator talked about her battle with pneumonia, and in an excellent tribute to the late Gene Wilder, she left the cane and somersaulted onto the stage, yelling, “I’m better than ever, let’s do this.” Trump came on, claiming he was going to stay calm the whole night, then hijacking the question posed to Clinton about creating jobs and going on a rant about China, and topped it off by saying he stayed calm and won the debate. The moderator reminded him that there were 88 minutes left, and he just stood there shellshocked. The other great moment was after another one of Trump’s tangents about other countries, and the moderator asked, “Secretary Clinton, what do you think of that?” and all she says is, “I think I’m going to be President.”
The second debate began with the two moderators each taking a shot of tequila, then introducing “Republican Nominee Donald Trump” and “President Hillary Clinton.” The main focus of this debate was Trump’s awkward lurking behind Hillary while she was answering questions, set to the tune of the Jaws theme. Ken Bone also made an appearance.
The third debate is just like it was in reality: a complete joke. Clinton was playing “Trump Bingo,” Trump went off about immigration and Mexico, they brought up Clinton’s campaign emails and how Trump treats women and Clinton talked about what she’s done in the last 30 years. All in good fun.
If you want a good laugh, definitely watch the Saturday Night Live debates. If you want to be actually informed on the issues, still watch them, but maybe don’t use them as your primary way of getting information. They’re fun to watch, and I’m sure one day, forty years from now, we’ll all look back on them and laugh a lot harder without the looming knowledge that one of these people will run our country for the next four years.
Remember to vote, everyone.

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