The Cable

‘SNL’ Debuts New Season Skewering 2016

The legendary comedy program prepares to take on an election some are already calling farcical.

Saturday Night Live - Season 41
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Tracy Morgan" Episode 1686 -- Pictured: (l-r) Alec Baldwin as Jim Webb, Larry David as Bernie Sanders, and Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton during the "Democratic Debate Cold Open" sketch on October 17, 2015 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

One might be forgiven for thinking the 2016 presidential election campaign – that august, quadrennial vote that ostensibly decides the leader of the free world – has become a parody of itself. After all, major TV news networks and even the venerable New York Times thinks so, too.

Enter Saturday Night Live, which has cornered the late-night TV market on American political satire since the Ford administration. SNL debuts its Season 42 premier on Saturday, Oct. 1, with a setup of 2016 contenders Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, respectively played by Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin.

This week, after the real Clinton and Trump went toe-to-toe in their first debate, SNL teased out its own take of the smackdown, evoking promos for Monday Night Football or WrestleMania.

But compare that to Fox News’ promo of the real debate:

Or this pre-debate sizzle reel from CNN’s Spanish-language channel:

No doubt, it will be worth tuning into SNL this week. But it must be said: Baldwin and McKinnon face stiff competition when it comes to turning the 2016 election into global spectacle.


Noah Buyon is a digital intern.

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