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'SNL' Kept Up The Tradition Of Taking Aim At Presidential Candidates

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This has been a challenging year for people writing political comedy.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Granted there's no shortage of material. The problem is how to satirize actual events that seem like satire to begin with.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Over the summer, we heard about this problem from Dave Mandel from the HBO series "Veep."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

DAVE MANDEL: We at "Veep" sort of joke that if we had tried to write a lot of this, we'd be - like HBO would have like sort of fired us and replaced us with a different writing staff.

MONTAGNE: But the show must go on. "Saturday Night Live" delivered its final effort last weekend.

GREENE: Alec Baldwin played Donald Trump in a TV interview batting away questions about Russia.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

ALEC BALDWIN: (As Donald Trump) I don't know Putin. I have never met Putin. What is even a Putin?

(LAUGHTER)

BECK BENNETT: (As Vladimir Putin) I'm running to store. You need anything?

BALDWIN: (As Donald Trump) I'm good. Thanks, sweetie.

(LAUGHTER)

KATE MCKINNON: (As Hillary Clinton) Erin, Erin, he kissed Putin. He kissed Putin on live TV.

CECILY STRONG: (As Erin Burnett) Secretary, that could mean anything. Let's get back to your emails.

GREENE: Now, of course, in some election years, the "SNL" parodies of presidential candidates become as famous as the candidates themselves.

INSKEEP: Think of Will Ferrell's George W. Bush saying strategery (ph).

MONTAGNE: This year, Kate McKinnon played a frustrated Hillary Clinton.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

MCKINNON: (As Hillary Clinton) I'm not losing am I?

(LAUGHTER)

MCKINNON: (As Hillary Clinton) I mean, in 2008, of course, I lost. I was running against a cool, black guy. But this year, I thought I got to be the cool, black guy.

(LAUGHTER)

INSKEEP: McKinnon's Hillary was willing to plan out absolutely everything, so that she could seem spontaneous.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

MCKINNON: (As Hillary Clinton) Hi, Patrice. Let me start by walking over to you just as I practiced. Right, left, right, left, right left, plants feet. Now, Patrice, you're a teacher?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Patrice) No.

MCKINNON: (As Hillary Clinton) You have kids?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Patrice) No.

MCKINNON: (As Hillary Clinton) You like kids?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Patrice) No.

MCKINNON: (As Hillary Clinton) You've seen kids?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Patrice) Yeah.

MCKINNON: (As Hillary Clinton) OK. Great. We're bonding already, oh, my friend, Patrice.

INSKEEP: And there was, of course, Donald Trump as recreated by Alec Baldwin.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

BALDWIN: (As Donald Trump) I have the best judgment and the best temperament. She's the one with the bad temperament. She's always screaming. She's constantly lying. Her hair is crazy. Her face is completely orange except around the eyes where it's white. And when she stops talking, her mouth looks like a tiny, little butthole.

(LAUGHTER)

MICHAEL CHE: (As Lester Holt) Secretary Clinton, did you have a response?

MCKINNON: (As Hillary Clinton) Not a response, more of a request - can America vote right now?

MONTAGNE: Yes, you can vote now. It is Election Day. The 2016 presidential race officially ends today. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.