Saturday Night Candidates: Comedic Brands on Saturday Night Live During the 2016 Presidential Election
Keywords:Comedy, Satire, Saturday Night Live, Presidential election, Television
NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL, 1975-) is an institution for political humor on the American television. The key for many successful impersonations seems to be hiring popular comedians who build heavily on their own identity and stardom, exploiting the bodies of politicians to define and promote their own comedic persona in the public arena. This is especially true for the seasons that led to the 2016 presidential election, as shown by the strategies enacted by impersonators like Kate McKinnon, Alec Baldwin and Larry David, who respectively played the role of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. This essay will take into account the aforementioned caricatures from the 2016 electoral cycle, highlighting the pivotal roles of intertextuality and reflexivity for SNL’s political impersonators. Therefore, sketches and interviews will be considered, especially those that shape the comedians public image and explore their relationship with the candidates and the program’s production cultures and practices.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Matteo Marinello
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