The writers at Saturday Night Live work very fast.
On Friday, the complexion of the 2016 presidential election and American politics dramatically changed, thanks to a leaked audio recording from 2005 in which Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told Access Hollywood house elf Billy Bush about his knack for sexually harassing women. By Saturday night, it was part of SNL’s cold open.
The sketch initially appeared to be about Tuesday’s snoozy vice presidential debate, but it soon cut to a CNN breaking news alert about Trump’s comments. Alec Baldwin reprised the masterful Donald Trump impression he debuted in last week’s season premiere, and Cecily Strong played CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin.
Baldwin (who’s just as shocked by Trump’s comments as many Americans) says she can’t repeat them on the air. "Grab them by the pussy," Trump interjects, before trying and failing to apologize multiple times. He continues: "This was way back, in 2005 — back when I was a childish 59-year-old man."
As the sketch goes on, it features some new hot mic moments for Trump. "I wish that I was that hurricane, tearing through that Miami pussy. I would just destroy it," he says at one point.
Alec Baldwin’s Trump mannerisms and speech are so eerily spot on that his performance stands a good chance of snagging him an Emmy in 2017. But the best part of the sketch is SNL’s imagining of how Hillary Clinton and her team must have reacted upon hearing Trump’s leaked audio. It allows Kate McKinnon’s awkward, faux stoic Clinton to shine.
"I was deeply saddened," McKinnon’s Clinton says as she’s interviewed by CNN anchor Baldwin, while not even trying to hold back a smile. "It made me feel horrible — just terribly depressed. It’s a sad day for all women — minus one."
Clinton is then asked whether the deplorability of Trump’s comments should, like some Republicans in real life are saying, be grounds for the Republican nominee to drop out of the race. Of course, that would be that last thing Clinton wants.
"Give him a shot!" McKinnon’s Clinton says, with a grin.