This is the real (wait, fake) debate of the 2016 presidential election we’ve all been waiting for in this weekend’s premiere of the 42nd season of Saturday Night Live.
Comedy has its place in politics and Saturday Night Live (SNL) is that epicenter. The in-house legend Lorne Michaels, fully aware of his institution’s role in highly contentious elections, sought outside help to gently assist in a (potential) ratings bonanza by convincing longtime friend Alec Baldwin to play Donald Trump opposite hilarious cast member Kate McKinnon (Hillary Clinton). Throughout SNL’s esteemed history, creating caricatures of major political candidates and powerful leaders has been an entertaining trademark of the show. Particularly this election cycle, the major question isn’t determining whether there will be ample material from both sides.
Or material from the third candidate: Aleppo…Aleppo…Aleppo?
The concern is how much of the material has to be written?
The craziness, anger and, yes, sadness, of this presidential election has reached new lows that people never thought possible from the two major (well, all of the) candidates for the White House. And politics has always provided a steep curve. Still, scandals and new reasons for anger erupt on a seemingly daily basis, frustrating voters across the political spectrum. “These are our choices?” In this time of great trepidation, let’s take comfort in the words of the late Mark Twain:
“Humor is tragedy plus time.”
SNL is banking on five days being enough time from the tragedy of that first presidential debate.