'Saturday Night Live' Impersonated Ken Bone & The Internet Lost It
The second presidential debate offered plenty of material for Saturday Night Live's stellar cast and creative writing. The real-life event was so outrageous, in fact, that SNL didn't have to exaggerate too much when it came to Saturday's cold open. The debate sketch featured Cecily Strong as moderator Martha Raddatz, Alec Baldwin as a creepy Donald Trump, and SNL's impersonation of voter Ken Bone.
Bone shot to internet stardom earlier this week after he appeared at Sunday's debate between Trump and Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton. As an uncommitted Missouri voter, Bone was offered the opportunity to ask a question of the presidential nominees. He was one of many such voters on stage, as the debate took place at Washington University in St. Louis and followed a town-hall style. In the days (or rather, moments) after the debate, Bone's question was overshadowed by his now-iconic red sweater, which inspired memes, pop culture references, and countless jokes (see: Bone zone). The internet chatter appeared to be all in good fun until, as SNL alluded to in Saturday's cold open, a darker side of Bone's past was uncovered. Still, even that darker side didn't keep the internet from overlooking Bobby Moynihan's impression of Bone on the SNL stage.
The cold open offered impersonations of all of the Missouri voters who asked questions as last Sunday's debate — but like with the actual debate, Bone's character stood out. Rather than ask his question this time, SNL's version of Bone simply danced to the Space Jam theme song — a tune almost as iconic as Bone himself. Moynihan nailed the part, red sweater and all. The internet seemed to agree.
The reaction to Bone's part in the SNL cold open mirrored the reaction to the real Bone after the Washington University debate. In fact, The Hill reported after the debate that Bone's popularity had placed him higher in the presidential election polls than Green Party candidate Jill Stein in Florida. Bone registered four percent of voters' support in the state.
Beyond the debate and SNL, though, Bone's internet fame could be short-lived. Further investigation into his past has revealed some less-relatable things about him than his red sweater and Midwestern personality. The New York Post, along with several other news outlets, reported on Friday that Bone had reportedly viewed Jennifer Lawrence's leaked nude photos and called Trayvon Martin's shooting "justified." According to Inside Edition, Bone said that he may owe Lawrence an apology.
SNL referenced this controversial past, but kept the focus of the cold open on the candidates themselves. For his part, Trump crept up behind Clinton to the suspenseful tune from Jaws, while Clinton recited her robotic and rehearsed movements as she responded to voters' questions. The cold open gave the internet the Bone impersonation that it wanted, but it also pointed out how little there is left to desire about the current election.