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Watch: SNL turns Kellyanne Conway into the sewer-dwelling killer clown from It

Constance Grady is a senior correspondent on the Culture team for Vox, where since 2016 she has covered books, publishing, gender, celebrity analysis, and theater.

Kellyanne Conway, the Trump counselor most famous for coining the phrase “alternative facts,” who recently argued that the president’s critics are attempting to “politicize” the tragedy in Puerto Rico, is regularly compared to a monster. So now Saturday Night Live has made her a literal one — and given Kate McKinnon a chance to turn the manic energy of her Conway impression up to 11.

This week’s episode of SNL turned Kellyanne Conway into Conway-wise, a riff on Pennywise, the sewer-dwelling clown monster from It.

“Put me on TV,” Conway-wise begs a flummoxed Anderson Cooper from the sewers. “I’ll give you quote, I’ll give you crazy, crazy quote. How about this? ‘Okay, so, Puerto Rico was actually worse before Hurricane Maria, and the hurricane actually did blow some buildings back together, and I don’t know why Elizabeth Warren won’t tweet about that.”

She’s already dragged Rachel Maddow down into the sewers, a policeman advises Cooper, and she’s got Hillary Clinton down there too, offering up copies of her new book.

Throughout the sketch, McKinnon keeps her eyes gleaming evilly, her smile just a little brighter and harder than she usually makes it for her Conway impression, voice jumping between Conway’s vocal fry and Pennywise’s guttural cries. At this point her Conway impression is so refined that watching her tweak the persona just a bit is like watching a jazz player doing variations on a theme she already knows inside and out. Kellyanne Conway may regularly provide factually untrue propaganda that justifies some of the worst acts of the Trump administration — but McKinnon’s impression of her is one of the great gifts of the SNL season so far.