We still have a long seven months to go before the 2016 election, but Saturday Night Live is ramping up its political sketches. On the Russell Crowe-hosted SNL episode, politics was front and center. It started in the cold open, where Kate McKinnon reprised her Hillary Clinton impression. Wounded from having lost a slew of states in a row, McKinnon's Clinton declared herself the new underdog in the election, then proceeded to say she's got her eyes on New York. Of course, they made fun of her recent MetroCard gaffe, and also had her wearing both Yankee and Mets gear to show how desperate she is for New York votes.
To be honest, I don't really love SNL's take on Clinton. It always seems like the joke is that Clinton really, really wants to be president. I don't see why Clinton is often made fun of for that. All of the candidates really, really want to be president, right? And don't most of them twist themselves into similar knots trying to appeal to as many votes as necessary? There's something unsettling about making fun of a woman for her ambition, when you don't do the same thing for the men in the same place.
Clinton's MetroCard troubles were brought up again during the Weekend Update segment. Host Colin Jost noted that it took Clinton five swipes to get her card to work — until she realized that it was a Goldman Sachs, ultra-swanky credit card. Ouch.
Clinton fared better in another political sketch, one that featured a guest appearance by the real-life Al Sharpton. He didn't play himself, though. Kenan Thompson played Sharpton, and the real Sharpton played a different political commentator. "Please don't take this the wrong way, but I thought you'd be a little skinnier," Sharpton told Thompson. "People say I look younger this way," Thompson answered.
Sharpton introduced the Black Approval Ratings Scale, a scale from 1 to 10, for the current election. Clinton's number actually wasn't so bad. Who had the worst score? Obviously, it was Trump. On a scale of 1 to 10, he scored a -1,048, but, Sharpton added, there was still room to go down.
Of course, SNL's political jokes weren't only directed to Clinton and Trump. There were also jokes at the expense of Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz. But it's interesting to see how they do the most jokes about the two candidates that have been SNL punchline staples for decade. I guess, in all that time, they've had a lot of practice.