By now, I’m sure you have seen or heard about Hillary Clinton’s cameo on the Season 41 premiere of Saturday Night Live earlier this month. Appearing as Val, the “ordinary citizen” bartender with strong feelings about the Keystone Pipeline and a unique empathetic ear for candidates running for election. In the scene, Val encounters an embattled Hillary Clinton (portrayed by SNL Extraordinaire Kate McKinnon), visiting a local pub to escape the daily stresses of the campaign trail, which seem to find her no matter where she hides. Val enters the scene at a crucial time, when McKinnon’s Hillary needs to talk to a friend that understands.
Politics aside, if you ask me, this appearance was completely necessary. McKinnon’s ongoing impression of the former Secretary of State and 2016 Presidential candidate is intense and maniacal, but it stems from a place of deep respect for Mrs. Clinton and her long career. Once these two larger-than-life personalities were in the same room, the chemistry and ensuing comedy were both electric. Here, I present the five best things about the sketch that allowed Hillary to finally meet her doppelgänger.
- Mrs. Clinton’s Impression Trumps!
Mudslinging isn’t a new tactic in campaign warfare for politicians, but now they’re doing spoofs of each other? Yes, please. We need more of this, especially from Hillary. Her impression of Donald Trump (“Ehh, you’re all losers.”) was more than respectable, and it isn’t even her first jab at The Donald on recent late-night TV, as she had a mock telephone conversation with Jimmy Fallon as Mr. Trump on The Tonight Show. From now on, we can refer to Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign as the Late-Night Roast of Donald Trump, hosted by Your Neighborhood Bartender, Val.
- I’ll Drink to That
Move over Cosmopolitans, a Scalding Hot Vodka is the preferred drink of choice for high-octane gay men everywhere. This is a drink intended for people living in the moment that need to feel like they are alive. Or on fire. Just be sure your barkeep is caught up on the issues of the day, even if they need a little time to decide their positions. My prediction is that quite a few of us will probably be nursing one of these on Election Night.
- The Fairytale Ending
A lot of people have drawn criticism to how much attention has been devoted to Hillary’s wardrobe rather than her actions as a national leader, which is a more than fair critique of the media, as well as the people tuning in to coverage on Mrs. Clinton. But when McKinnon’s Hillary discovered the “hard tan business shoe” that was left behind during her new best friend’s hastened exit, the fashion commentary actually dug a little deeper. She was able to make a witty remark about Hillary’s fashion taste without taking focus away from her character or accomplishments. If anything, the joke simply bolstered who Hillary is, a strong and confident leader that always dresses on point.
- Plans for Electoral Victory
When Doppelgänger Hillary revealed her grand plan to defeat Mr. Trump in the election and then to hang his hair in the Oval Office, she earned my vote. Honestly, this is probably the most practical method for #DumpTrump that I have heard yet.
- Same-sex Marriage is Great
Ahh, the magic of televised live theater. The line was probably, “It really is great how long you have supported gay marriage,” but Mrs. Clinton’s delivery came out as “…great how long you have supported grea-gay marriage.” This slip was cute and it was enough for me to forgive Hillary for being late to the Marriage Equality party. I was also glad to see the sketch use this moment to bring the criticism regarding Clinton’s less than punctual endorsement of Rainbow marriage to light, and to see Mrs. Clinton accept the feedback graciously.
Mrs. Clinton, thank you for appearing on Saturday Night Live, and for being a good sport. We’ll keep watching to see what happens next.