Tom Hanks, playing the Fox News anchor and debate moderator Chris Wallace, introduced Saturday Night Live‘s spoof of the third US presidential debate as “a lot like the third Lord of the Rings movie—you don’t really want to watch, but you’ve come this far.”
Indeed, in an election season that many have called “beyond satire,” the NBC sketch comedy show keeps valiantly trying, with Alec Baldwin playing Republican Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon playing Democrat Hillary Clinton again tonight (Oct. 22):
As in previous skits, Baldwin’s uncanny portrayal didn’t have to stretch far beyond Trump’s actual words—including of course, the phrases he’ll be remembered for from Wednesday evening’s debate, “nasty woman” and “bad hombres.”
When Baldwin’s Trump proclaims, “Nobody has more respect for women than I do,” for example—the exact words of the candidate himself—the camera shows the audience, and then the whole world, laughing derisively.
“Settle down, entire planet, settle down,” Hank’s moderator pleads.
Meanwhile McKinnon serves as a kind of “anger translator” for Clinton, voicing the imagined frustrations left unsaid by the actual candidate, who maintained a preternaturally serene listening face throughout even the most outlandish moments of the three debates.
“What two better people are there to talk about women’s issues?” McKinnon deadpanned. “Me, a woman who has had a child and has taken birth control, and him, a man who is a child and whose face is birth control.”
Trump himself has not responded on social media to tonight’s episode. Last week, Baldwin’s portrayal clearly got under his skin. He tweeted that it’s “time to retire the boring and unfunny show” (which he has himself hosted). He also offered the parody as evidence that the media is “rigging” the election: