May 21, 2017

Alec Baldwin reprised his role as Donald Trump for the season finale of Saturday Night Live:

This season’s regular President Trump impersonator returned once more, but in a bit of twist, didn’t crack a string of biting jokes to open up this week’s episode. Instead, Baldwin’s Trump sat at the piano on the main stage and performed “Hallelujah.”

If you’re wondering why that feels familiar, it’s because this is sort of how SNL began its first episode after the 2016 election. That time it was Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton playing the tune, and also as a tribute to Leonard Cohen who had just died. But unlike most SNL sketches, McKinnon’s Hillary cold open was entirely serious; she appeared to have tears in her eyes as she ended the song with a nod to Clinton’s concession speech.

That kind of sincere emotion was absent this time, which was made sense after SNL spent all season poking fun of Trump — so much so that even after getting elected president, Trump publicly complained about the show’s impersonation.

On Saturday, Baldwin’s character was joined on stage by the growing group of cast members and guests who have come to satirize Trump’s White House team and his orbit: Kate McKinnon as Kellyanne Conway; Beck Bennett as Vice President Pence; Aidy Bryant as Sarah Huckabee Sanders; Alex Moffatt as Eric Trump; Mikey Day as Donald Trump Jr.; and a skeleton grim reaper as Stephen K. Bannon.

Then came the big guest appearance, with Scarlett Johansson bringing back her Ivanka Trump impersonation, joined by Cecily Strong playing Melania Trump.

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