Last night, Alec Baldwin joined a long tradition of actors who have impersonated Presidential candidates on Saturday Night Live. We think he did a pretty extraordinary job. Watch for yourself below:
Fallon Out, Baldwin In
Previously, Jimmy Fallon played the role of Trump. His most famous skit was his "self-interview" in the mirror with the real Donald Trump:
Secretary Clinton, why are you crying?
"It's because this is going so well!"
Saturday Night Live, historically a non-partisan show, has thus far held few punches for Hillary Clinton. However, last night's skit acknowledged her debate win. Clinton's victory has been widely corroborated amongst the majority of media outlets. Yet her win is not without controversy, as Trump objected via Twitter to the veracity of media claims that Hillary won the debate:
Does SNL Sway the Election?
Yes it does. In particular, several academics agree that Chevy Chase's impersonation of a 'bumbling' Gerald Ford contributed to Ford's loss to Jimmy Carter in 1976.
SNL in the 2012 Election
More recently, SNL hit hard during the 2012 Presidential election. Tina Fey did such a remarkable job impersonating Sarah Palin that voters legitimately believed an (incorrect) quote:
"I can see Russia from my house"
Since the airing of the episode, the "I can see Russia" quote has been repeatedly attributed to Palin & ingrained in popular culture. In fact, those words never came from Governor Palin's mouth. It's an exact quote from the SNL script. Palin's precise words were:
“They’re our next-door neighbors. And you can actually see Russia, from land, here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.”
Russia and Alaska are divided by the Bering Straight, 55 miles wide at its narrowest. Two small islands sit in the middle of the straight, one owned by Alaska & the other by Russia. They lie a bit less than two and a half miles apart—meaning yes, on a clear day, it is possible to see Russia from Alaska.
Will SNL affect the 2016 Election?
Yes. It's highly likely SNL will have some impact on this election, one way or the other. We're witnessing an un-precedented election in numerous ways. Given last night was merely the first episode of SNL's new season: we're likely to see more election-influencing parodies to come.