Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump raked in the viewers for SNL this weekend.
The NBC series’ 42nd season premiere posted the best numbers for the show since the 2008 election cycle (which featured Tina Fey’s stellar Sarah Palin), Deadline reports. The premiere episode was hosted by Suicide Squad star Margot Robbie and featured The Weeknd as the musical guest.
Arguably the biggest draw was Alec Baldwin’s portrayal as Donald Trump squaring off against McKinnon’s Clinton in the cold open of the episode. The sketch, which recreated last week’s debate between Trump and Clinton, helped boost viewership by nearly 30% compared to last year’s premiere. This is refreshing news considering SNL has been plagued by low ratings in recent years, with last season being one of its worst.
The cold open took shots at both candidates. McKinnon hilariously imitated Clinton’s shoulder shimmying which she practically turned into a little dance of excitement. As for Trump, Baldwin and the writers made fun of how many times Trump brought up Sean Hannity, as well as Trump’s constant sniffing to the point where Baldwin sniffed loudly and directly into the microphone.
At this point Baldwin joins a cadre of celebrities who have done a Donald Trump impression, from Johnny Depp and SNL‘s own Darrell Hammond to Bruce Willis and Anthony Atamanuik. Luckily, Vanity Fair has put together a video showcasing some of the best Donald Trump celebrity impressions to come out of this election cycle.
Next week’s October 8th episode will be hosted by Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda and feature musical guest Twenty One Pilots.