NBC sets SNL election special on eve of Election Day

Donald Trump on SNL (Photo: NBC)
Donald Trump on SNL (Photo: NBC) /

NBC will air a one-hour election special highlighting the best political sketches centered around the 2016 presidential campaign.

NBC recently announced that it will be airing a 2016 SNL Election Special on November 7, just one day before the presidential election. The network is hoping to capitalize on the show’s recent ratings spike thanks in large part to the popular debate sketches featuring their versions of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, played by Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon, respectively.

The move comes amid increased criticism of Baldwin’s portrayal of the Republican nominee by the actor’s own brother, as well as the candidate himself, who called the impersonation “inaccurate” as well as “mean and nasty” in an interview with Extra. Trump also told the show that he has no interest in going back on SNL, which he has hosted twice before.

Meanwhile, the Baldwin brothers continue to feud over Trump after youngest brother Stephen, a staunch Trump supporter, claimed that Alec’s impression of the brash businessman is not “very funny,” prompting a rebuttal by Alec in the final debate skit featuring host Tom Hanks as moderator Chris Wallace. Even Billy Baldwin has stepped into the fray. Earlier this month in a series of tweets that have now gone viral, he admonished his younger brother for invoking their father in a tweet where he harshly criticizing “biased” media figures like Anderson Cooper, writing, “If our father were alive today … he’d smack you in the side of the head for supporting Donald Trump.” The actor more recently commented on Stephen’s criticism of Alec’s portrayal of Trump by claiming that it “proves the alt universe that many Trump supporters live in,” and later reiterating that their father would “never support the politics of a man like Donald Trump.”

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The election special is likely to include footage from the primaries where Trump was played both by now-former cast member Taran Killam and SNL veteran-turned-announcer Darrell Hammond, while on the Democratic side Larry David stepped in to portray his doppelgänger, Bernie Sanders, later resulting in his first time hosting the sketch comedy series, which he wrote for for a short time in the 1980s. It’s unclear whether clips from the Trump-hosted episode late last year will also be included. While the men have gotten their share of attention, the MVP may go to McKinnon, who has been consistently funny as Clinton throughout the campaign, assuring that the recent Emmy-winner will be in the running for the award again next year.

Unlike previous election cycles, SNL did not air prime time “Weekend Update” specials on Thursday nights this year as it did leading up to the 2008 and 2012 elections. However, current anchors Michael Che and Colin Jost did take the segment to MSNBC to comment on the conventions during the summer.

Next: Stephen Baldwin slams Alec Baldwin’s SNL Donald Trump impression

SNL returns Saturday, November 5 at 11:30 p.m. on NBC with host Benedict Cumberbatch and musical guest Solange, while the 2016 election special will air Monday, November 7 at 10 p.m.