Donald Trump isn’t thrilled with Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of him in Saturday Night Live's cold open sketch last night, calling the show "boring and unfunny."
Watched Saturday Night Live hit job on me.Time to retire the boring and unfunny show. Alec Baldwin portrayal stinks. Media rigging election!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2016
Trump’s response to the show’s sketch shows that SNL is on the right track when it comes to satirizing the presidential election. The tweets are trademark Trump: pure, instinctual dismissal on Twitter. Let’s not forget that Trump himself was on the show in November 2015 and apparently had a blast:
Amazing evening at Saturday Night Live!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2015
As with the first cold open debate sketch, this week’s bit hit the lowest hanging fruit from the second presidential debate, from Clinton’s efforts to connect with the audience, Trump’s looming over Clinton (set to the Jaws theme) and his dismissal of sexual assault allegations, to Ken Bone. The sketch works well because of Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon’s respective portrayals of the candidates.
As my colleague Kaitlyn Tiffany noted earlier this month, "One month out from the election, Weekend Update is still addressing Clinton and Trump as if they are comparably less-than-ideal candidates," and that a single good sketch doesn’t do much to change that. Satire is supposed to point out the ridiculousness in the real world, and SNL hasn't really done that up until now. Clearly, the show has struck a nerve with Trump, but that's something that it should have done from the start of his candidacy.
With these pair of sketches, SNL has begun to show the ridiculousness of the 2016 election, even as it’s essentially telling us what we already know. It’s safe to assume that while SNL is playing catch-up, it’s at least not treating Trump with kid gloves anymore. Better late than never.