The Atlantic Hails NBC: 'SNL Runs an Ad for Elizabeth Warren'

November 5th, 2019 11:02 AM

The Atlantic Magazine admitted (approvingly) that the latest opening skit on Saturday Night Live skit was less a satire and really more of a campaign ad for Elizabeth Warren. The Sunday article by pop culture critic Spencer Kornhaber made this admission both in the title, "SNL Runs an Ad for Elizabeth Warren," and body of the article. 

Kornhaber also concedes the obvious, that President Donald Trump does not receive such favorable treatment: "When the topic is Donald Trump, the bits—for better and often for worse—fuel themselves on open mockery." McKinnon's Warren seems much more positive than McKinnon's take on Hillary Clinton.



The invaluable Kate McKinnon continues to nail an anything-but-rote caricature of America’s No. 1 wonk. “Look at me, I am in my natural habitat, a public school on the weekend,” her Elizabeth Warren said as she took the mic. “And I just housed a Nature Valley bar so I am jacked up and ready to pop off!” There’s a way to speak these lines so that the joke is on the dweeb saying them. But McKinnon’s dervish routine, all kicks and fist bumps and grins, swaggers. Warren is a queen of can-do, and SNL—like many Democratic-primary voters, polls show—wants to give her a high five rather than a swirly.

And SNL also very considerately followed the directive of the Warren campaign:

Warren’s campaign, of course, prides itself on prioritizing policy instead of just personality, and SNL made a surprisingly earnest attempt at following that directive. The audience members at this fictional town hall dramatized the main lines of skepticism toward Warren in this primary, with Cecily Strong’s character wearing a Kamala Harris T-shirt while saying she was still undecided. McKinnon’s Warren dispatched the interrogators not with cute punch lines but rather, as the real Warren might, with folksy explainers.

On the question of whether her plans were too radical for most Americans, McKinnon’s Warren replied with a line I could have sworn I’d heard at one of the Democratic debates: “You know why lobbyists are so against universal health care? They’re afraid you’re going to like it. ‘Cause it’s awesome!”

They even portrayed the voters as too dumb and Warren as too smart on an issue like "Medicare for All." When she's questioned on her math, faux-Warren turns to a ridiculous chart of mumbo-jumbo and says "Do you understand this? Do ya? I could explain it to you, but you'd die."