The 2020 U.S. presidential election is heating up. And as the Democratic candidates compete to earn their party’s nomination, Saturday Night Live has been having a blast poking fun at them all. After all, Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump can’t have all the fun.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has campaigned particularly hard for the 2020 Democratic nomination. And SNL has accordingly leaned on Kate McKinnon’s impression to punch up its political sketches. Now Warren has given SNL fans a compelling new reason to consider voting for her.
‘Saturday Night Live’ has a long history of political satire
SNL‘s tradition of satirizing politicians goes back much further than many fans may realize. In fact, the show’s early days hinged on Dan Aykroyd’s and Chevy Chase’s impressions of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, respectively. From that point on, SNL made a concerted effort to comment on each incoming U.S. president as well as the top political stories.
Of course, because of this, SNL experienced a huge ratings boost in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election. Trump’s victory — and Baldwin’s appearances playing him — have renewed many viewers’ interest in the show. McKinnon has likewise been an integral reason why this latest round of political sketches has worked as well as it has.
In the past few years, the Emmy-winning actress has played presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and, more recently, perfected impressions of several current and former members of the Trump administration. However, the most popular — and promising — of McKinnon’s recent roles is that of Senator Warren herself.
Elizabeth Warren loves Kate McKinnon’s impression of her
For her part, Warren has gone on the record as an undisputed fan of McKinnon’s impression. On a recent appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Warren once again shared her thoughts on her SNL counterpart. Then, she took it one step further in a blatant appeal to voters.
“I have to say, [McKinnon] is really fabulous. She’s smart, she’s engaged, you know, she brings a lot of energy. We wear the same jackets,” Warren said. “And look, here’s the deal: elect me president of the United States, and we get eight more years of Kate McKinnon on Saturday Night Live.”
Warren may be jokingly using McKinnon’s popularity to boost her prospects as a potential Trump opponent. However, she does make a point about what her election would mean for SNL. Perhaps because the producers didn’t expect Trump to win, their casting of Baldwin has complicated the show ever since.
The power of being cast as the U.S. President on ‘SNL’
Just as being U.S. president is a huge responsibility, getting to play the president on SNL is a big deal. Whoever plays that role is all but guaranteed a more prominent presence on the show. For instance, look at how many times Baldwin has returned as a guest star. So, if Warren were to win, McKinnon’s profile on the show would only grow larger.
With her Clinton impression, McKinnon very nearly landed the opportunity to play the U.S. president. And as arguably the most recognizable current SNL cast member, that honor is one that continues to elude her. As the longest-serving female cast member, it feels right for McKinnon to play the first female president on the show.
Her spot-on impression of Warren might not be enough to get voters who don’t support the senator’s policies out to the polls. But at least SNL fans will have more of McKinnon to look forward to if Warren does make it all the way to the White House. We’ll find out soon enough how the 2020 election shakes out.
Saturday Night Live returns on Jan. 25, 2020 with host Adam Driver and musical guest Halsey.