NEW YORK - Today is the New Hampshire Primary, one of the most important stops on the road to the 2020 presidential election! And while the politics are best left to someone else to cover (will things go more smoothly than they did at the Iowa Caucus?), I can definitely provide some expertise on another aspect of the campaign: the Saturday Night Live treatments.
That's right, ahead of today's primary, SNL decided to parody the entire slate of Democratic presidential candidates in the format of a debate sketch (complete with commercial interruption by Mike Bloomberg). In the episode hosted by RuPaul with musical guest Justin Bieber, the show went all-in on the upcoming New Hampshire election, in the wake of debate from the candidates on Friday night, as shared by NBC.
The comedic version of the debate, which served as the cold open for the episode of SNL, came in as the longest sketch of the night. It's about thirty seconds under ten minutes long and has been uploaded in its entirety to the official YouTube channel of SNL. You can watch it right below this text.
All in all, I think it was actually one of the better political sketches that SNL has done this season. They always seem to have decent premises for their cold opens, but the execution has felt a bit lacking all year to me. It can often seem like cameos are prioritized over actual satirical bite. And while there is still room for improvement, especially when looking back on the Adam McKay/Will Ferrell/Michael Schur George W. Bush sketches back in the 2000s and the Seth Meyers/Tina Fey/Amy Poehler Sarah Palin sketches from the 2008 election, this was a solid sketch!
It seems like the cameos have actually sort of settled into just part of the show. Jason Sudeikis feels right at home, reprising his role as Joe Biden. Larry David feels like he never left his spot as Bernie Sanders. (His delivery of "Eh" will make me laugh every time. The Bernie caricature is SNL's best right now.) And Massachusetts native Rachel Dratch is entirely comfortable as Amy Klobuchar. Pete Davidson made for inspired casting as Tom Steyer and Colin Jost's Pete Buttigieg is my favorite. Bowen Yang makes for a great Andrew Yang. Of course, Kate McKinnon's Elizabeth Warren steals the show every time. The jokes were better in this one, but perhaps they will only get more humorous as the campaign goes on.
Image via Wikimedia Commons