When Tina Fey and Amy Poehler returned to Saturday Night Live to co-host on December 19, they also brought back two of their most significant political impressions to date: Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton.
Poehler's 2008-era Hillary paid a Christmas visit to Kate McKinnon's present-day Hillary as the latter drifted off to sleep in her pajama pantsuit. The reason? The 2008 Hillary was concerned that 2015 Hillary is getting cocky about her chances. After all, as 2008 Hillary reminded her older self, she was once on the easy path to the presidency until "someone named Barack Obama stumbled out of a soup kitchen with a basketball and a cigarette and stole my life." But 2008 Hillary began to feel a lot better once 2015 Hillary told her the Republican frontrunner is Donald Trump.
Seeing Poehler play Hillary again was enough to inspire immediate joy, but watching her and McKinnon play off each other was even better. Their impressions of Hillary are different — McKinnon's is always on the edge of a manic breakdown — but they still share the same hand gestures and clenched jaws.
But there was more to the skit than the meeting of Hillarys past and present. Things started to get even more surreal when Fey's Palin stumbled into Hillary's bedroom ("Oh, geez, looks like I've traveled through time and space again ... aw, what the heck, I landed in the bedroom of a lesbian couple"). Her warning to 2015 Hillary was perhaps even more dire than 2008 Hillary's: "I should be the one giving you advice — in 2008 I got a heckuva lot closer to the White House than this gal did."
While Poehler and Fey's co-hosting job included some other standout sketches (particularly the scathing and hilarious "Meet Your Second Wife" game show), "A Hillary Christmas" brought out some of the best in Saturday Night Live: canny impressions, prescient political commentary, and three comedians at the top of their game.