The show’s season premiere relies heavily on election gags but needs to develop more substance to regain legendary status
In the 21st century, Saturday Night Live has lived or died by its presidential election coverage. For all the flak that the show receives for not living up to its “glory days” – and those glory days generally happen to line up with the speaker’s teenage years – it redeems itself in the cultural landscape with presidential debate sketches that hit the mark and justify its existence.
So it’s understandable that the show’s writers tilted so heavily in favor of election comedy for this season’s premiere on Saturday. The opening sketch was, as is now de rigueur, a take on the first presidential debate. Recent Emmy-winner (and Ghostbusters scene-stealer) Kate McKinnon of course returned as an ecstatic Hillary Clinton, a shimmying, wide-eyed, over-prepared debater who can’t believe how easy it all is.