Rave: SNL encourages compassion

Nisha Gandhi

Throughout the entire campaign and election season, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” has been following its usual form and creating skits that reflect the political environment, whether it’s post- debate, post-scandal or just a general yet humorous overview of what’s going on in the world of politics.

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In the latest episode, Hillary Clinton (Kate McKinnon) and Donald J. Trump (Alec Baldwin) went back and forth on Erin Burnett’s (Cecily Strong) OutFront. Hillary’s email scandal was consistently brought up along with Trump’s indecencies, and it’s clear that SNL was trying to emphasize that both candidates have issues that the public should not ignore.

While this on its own is not something unique, it’s what happens in the second half of the skit that really grabbed my attention and gave me a lot more respect for SNL.

In the second half of the skit, Baldwin suddenly breaks his role as Trump and tells McKinnon (who he refers to as Kate) that “[he’s] tired of yelling all this stuff at [her].” McKinnon agrees and Baldwin follows up with saying that he “feels gross all the time” because of the election.

As if this wasn’t enough to send the audience into shock, the intro of Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” starts playing as Baldwin and McKinnon literally run out of the studio and into Times Square, holding hands and interacting with people on the street. They are still dressed as their respective characters but are doing everything contrary to what their characters would presumably do. McKinnon hugs someone wearing “Make America Great Again” attire while Baldwin hugs a black man and a Hispanic family. The two actors dance around with people of all races and people who clearly support one candidate over the other, creating a sense of camaraderie.

The skit concludes by emphasizing that everything that they have done will not matter unless people vote, and while they choose not to endorse a candidate, they encourage people to vote for the kind of country they want to live in.

Instead of perpetuating the negative, hostile environment that the current political atmosphere has become, SNL encouraged working together and showing compassion towards all people, regardless of their political affiliation, a message that I think is so crucial in a time of such division. -N. Gandhi