Amid the cascading political fallout following Friday’s release of a 2005 video in which Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made sexually aggressive comments about women, anticipation was high for the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live.
SNL, hosted by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda tonight (Oct. 8), brought on the Emmy-award-winning actor Alec Baldwin to lampoon Trump this season. Baldwin’s uncanny portrayal of the candidate in the first presidential debate last week drew 8.3 million viewers, the show’s highest-rated season premiere since 2008.
The show’s opening skit started with a spoof of last week’s vice-presidential debate (presumably the planned topic before Friday’s revelations) but was quickly interrupted for an interview with “Trump” who said he was there to “apple-gize” to “all the people who were offended by my statements—but more importantly to the people who were turned on by them. I hear it’s really 50-50.”
Host Miranda got a dig in at Trump too. During his opening monologue, he passed a framed photo of Trump (a previous host) backstage at the show, and with a little celebratory dance, he sang, “You’re never gonna be president now, you’re never gonna be president…”
In a pre-recorded sketch, “A day off with Kellyanne Conway,” Kate McKinnon plays Trump’s long-suffering campaign manager, whose idyllic day off is constantly interrupted by having to explain away increasingly ridiculous and offensive tweets by the candidate.
Strangely, this wasn’t the first time SNL spoofed Donald Trump’s performance that same fateful day in 2005. That year, the show did a skit (video) featuring Darrell Hammond as Trump. In it, the Trump character delivers a bizarre and wooden performance, to the frustration of the soap opera’s director (played by Seth Meyers), and his co-star in the scene, Arianne Zucker (played by Amy Poehler).
The writers of SNL weren’t the only comedians to weigh in on Trump’s latest troubles in the last couple of days.
HBO’s Bill Maher was joined by billionaire and frequent Trump critic Mark Cuban, as well as commentator James Carville and Johann Hari, on his Friday evening show. “What do you tell the children,” Maher asked, “about ‘I grab pussy…’?”
The Friday evening edition of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert was pre-recorded, but Colbert tweeted a short video of himself watching what he called “the motherlode, the el dorado of Donald Trump misogyny gold.”
He reacted to Trump’s words not with jokes or quips, but rather with barely suppressed anger. “Hopefully someday,” the comedian said, “he’ll be telling the story about how he tried to fuck America—and failed.”