Saturday Night Live has often featured political satire. For years now the NBC sketch comedy series has poked fun at the politicians of the time. Typically, happening at the top of the show, these sketches garner lots of attention and the impersonations of political figures often become viral moments. In a recent interview SNL alum Rob Schneider spoke about the moment he thought the show was “over" and his feelings relate to a political moment on the show.
From Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump (and now James Austin Johnson’s Trump) to Jim Carey’s Joe Biden and Melissa McCarthy's Sean Spicer, there is someone impersonating relevant political figures of the moment. The most recent SNL cast member to become an alum, Kate McKinnon, has impersonated Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Hillary Clinton, to name a few. This Clinton impression is what sparked Schneider's comments.
What Schneider was getting at when speaking on The Glenn Beck Podcast was McKinnon’s Clinton impression, specifically the sketch aired as the cold open right after the 2016 election.
This sketch of Kate McKinnon as Clinton, which has 12.9 million views on YouTube, is one that McKinnon said made her feel connected to the audience, but apparently, Schneider is not really a fan. In the video, McKinnon is sitting alone at the piano dressed as Clinton. She sings “Hallelujah” and at the end says “I’m not giving up and neither should you. And live from New York it’s Saturday night.”
Schneider, who was on SNL from 1990-1994, has been voicing his opinions against how SNL portrays political figures for a while now. Back in 2018, he told the New York Daily News that he did not appreciate Alec Baldwin’s impression of Donald Trump by comparing Baldwin’s performance to SNL alum Dana Carvey’s impression of George H. W. Bush.
In the interview, Rob Schneider also talked about how SNL and late-night talk shows are a “comedic indoctrination process.” He said they all sound the same and that there are no “independent voices” in late night anymore.
SNL is scheduled to come back with its political satire, no matter what Rob Schneider thinks. While McKinnon won't be returning to the show, long-time cast members Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong and Colin Jost along with fan favorites Bown Yang and James Austin Johnson, will be back for the 48th season, which can be found in the 2022 fall TV schedule.
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Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.