The Race in Review: SNL’s Election Special

The Race in Review: SNL’s Election Special
Saturday Night Live provides a review of the lead up to the 2016 election .

It’s been a long year or so for anyone that has access to television, radio or internet. The mud-flinging competition known as the 2016 United States Presidential Election has made us laugh, made us cry, and made us… well, probably cry some more. But more than anyone, we have late night television to thank for the laughter. Saturday Night Live has been keeping the sketches fresh for well over a year now, during the primaries, through the party debates and all the way up to the eve before election day.

SNL‘s 2016 election special offered a recap for the year – and what good moments there were, in case you missed any of it. Through out the campaigning, SNL brought in some heavy hitters: Larry David as Democrat contender Bernie Sanders; Amy Poehler reprising her role as Hillary Clinton (alongside Kate McKinnon); Alec Baldwin and Republican nominee Donald Trump; and of course, the anticipated return of Tina Fey as the infamous former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. The most intriguing of the past year’s stunt casting wasn’t any one of those, nor was it a celebrity impersonation of any political candidate. Rather, it was when Julia Louise-Dreyfus showed up as Elaine Benes, for the first time since 1999, to have a very Seinfeldian conversation with Bernie Sanders.

Even past all the celebrity guest appearances and cameos, SNL wrangled the two presidential candidates last season: Hillary Clinton appeared alongside Kate McKinnon in a sketch (as a bar tender that McKinnon’s Clinton was venting to), and in a controversial (and, indicated through Lin Manuel-Miranda’s monologue rap, regretful) decision, Donald Trump hosted the fourth episode of SNL‘s 41st season (which was the second time hosting for Trump, the first being in 2004).

Saturday Night Live dutifully covered the 2016 Presidential Election debates, with Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin playing off each other better than any two competing presidential impersonators in the history of the show. And, for the third debate, everyone was lucky enough to see Tom Hanks play debate moderator Chris Wallace.

It’s been a long trail. It’s safe to say at this point, everyone is at least a little bit exhausted. It will be over, but that doesn’t mean Saturday Night Live will yield – you can bet that whomever wins this race will be mocked throughout the next four years, with varying degrees of viciousness. But the campaigns are finally over, and the focus will shift, and we can all go back to enjoying sketches about samurai deli owners, a surly Gumby, and Sean Connery insulting Alex Trebek. snl baldwin Mckinnon

Watch full Saturday Night Live sketches here on, and be sure to tune in to Saturday Night Live next week on Global at 11:30 et/pt, hosted by Dave Chappelle, with musical guest A Tribe Called Quest.


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