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SNL‘s Presidential Debate Doesn’t Stretch Far From the Real Thing

You have to admit that the jokes kind of wrote themselves.

Was there ever any doubt in your mind that Saturday Night Live would kick off its episode last night with a spoof of the presidential debate for its cold open? From the Donald’s sniffing to Hillary’s shoulder shimmy, the first debate was prime joke fodder for SNL.

Alec Baldwin returned to the stage to play Donald Trump for the first time, taking over for long-time Trump player Darrell Hammond, and Kate McKinnon returned to give us all of Hillary’s best moments from the debate–including that Jim Halpert-like look into camera. Weekend Update actor Michael Che took on the role of moderator Lester Holt, and served about as prominent a role as the real Holt did on the actual debate night.

Last night’s episode–which was hosted by actress Margot Robbie–also marked the first appearance of SNL‘s three newcomers: Mikey Day, Alex Moffat and Melissa Villaseñor, who made fairly innocuous appearances but probably stood out the most in one of the night’s other politically-related sketches, “Celebrity Family Feud”:

Robbie, Day and Moffat rounded out the Children of the Corn-esque Trump siblings, while Villaseñor incorporated her longtime impression of comedian Sarah Silverman for the bit’s Team Clinton. Even though Hammond didn’t play Trump, he did make an appearance to do one of his other famous impressions for SNL: Bill Clinton. He was joined by Larry David, who seems to have become an appreciated staple for the show to draw on whenever they need someone to be Bernie Sanders. Another standout bit from last night included a Mr. Robot parody wherein Leslie Jones, in her first episode since being promoted to regular cast member, addressed her photo hack in a way that took back the narrative even further–with her own comedy.

While a part of me had been hoping to see Robbie do well after this adorable promo she did with Kate McKinnon, there wasn’t a lot about her performance that stood out to me at all. There was one sketch that took the “hot librarian” trope and flipped it on its head, and another where Robbie tried to do her best Keira Knightley impression but got the giggles thanks to McKinnon’s antics as an old Hollywood starlet. Overall, however, she wasn’t all that memorable, which is unfortunate–and I’m not sure if that’s because she wasn’t given great material to work with or that the political sketches kind of outshone the rest of the night.

Did you tune in to last night’s SNL? Were there any jokes that stood out to you in particular? Let’s discuss in the comments!

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