ABC and NBC on Sunday and Monday fawned over the “hilarious,” "spontaneous” Hillary Clinton appearance on Saturday Night Live this past weekend. As though she were blurbing a movie, Good Morning America’s Cecilia Vega on Monday cheered, “It is the new, spontaneous Hillary Clinton who hopes to be laughing all the way to the White House.”
The key talking point appears to be the word “spontaneous.” On Sunday’s GMA, reporter Mary Bruce repeated, “This is Hillary Clinton 2.0. The candidate trying to show she's funny, authentic and spontaneous.” The ABC graphic for the segment declared, “Hillary's Hilarious TV Sketch: Can She Turn Around Her Campaign?”
Introducing the story, Vega gushed, “Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton getting a ton of laughs last night on SNL.” Referencing appearances with Ellen DeGeneres and singer Marc Anthony, Bruce lauded, “The candidate has been trying to show off her lighter side.”
Reciting the strategy that ABC was clearly helping with, Bruce continued, “Her campaign is hoping the new strategy will help her turn the page after a summer full of controversy.”
On Sunday’s Today show, Kristen Welker flat-out declared this a success: “For her part, Hillary Clinton has been rebounding from the e-mail situation. Part of her strategy, showing voters her lighter side.”
Andrea Mitchell on Monday’s Today also played TV critic, touting, “Clinton hit her stride on Saturday Night Live as a bartender.”
CBS This Morning offered a more measured response. Correspondent Julianna Goldman noted, “Clinton’s SNL appearance comes as she struggles to appear authentic which has in part created the opening for the vice president.” Co-host Charlie Rose said that Clinton did “well” on Saturday Night Live.
A transcript of the October 4 GMA segment is below:
CECILIA VEGA: The new Hillary Clinton?
KATE MCKINNON: I wish you could be president.
HILLARY CLINTON: Me, too.
VEGA: Her SNL appearance showing off her funny side. Is this the new strategy? Will it work with voters?
ABC Graphic: Hillary's Hilarious TV Sketch: Can She Turn Around Her Campaign?
VEGA: We turn now to the race for the White House. It is your voice, your vote. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton getting a ton of laughs last night on SNL. No one was off-limits. Not Donald Trump's hair, not even herself. ABC's Mary Bruce joins us now from the White House. So, Mary, Clinton showing her funnier side, did it work?
MARY BRUCE: Hey, Cecilia. Good morning. Well, Saturday Night Live has had a lot of fun at Hillary Clinton's expense. Last night she's trying to show that she's not being laughed at, but laughing along.
MCKINNON: Hey, bartender, keep them coming.
BRUCE: Overnight, Hillary Clinton getting in on the joke on Saturday Night Live.
CLINTON: Oh, I get it, you're a politician.
MCKINNON: Yes. Yes. And how about you?
CLINTON: Well, me, I'm just an ordinary citizen who believes the Keystone pipeline will destroy our environment.
BRUCE: This is Hillary Clinton 2.0. The candidate trying to show she's funny, authentic and spontaneous.
MCKINNON: I wish you could be president.
CLINTON: Me, too.
BRUCE: From girl talk with actress Lena Dunham —
LENA DUNHAM: Do you consider yourself a feminist?
CLINTON: Yes, absolutely.
BRUCE: — to showing her wicked Nae Nae skills on Ellen. And jumping on stage with Marc Anthony in Miami. The candidate has been trying to show off her lighter side. With Bernie Sanders drawing huge crowds and closing in on Clinton's lead, her campaign is hoping the new strategy will help her turn the page after a summer full of controversy. Candidates have cashed in on the show's popularity in the past.
JOHN MCCAIN: Good evening, my fellow Americans, I'm John McCain.
TINA FEY: And, you know, I'm just Sarah Palin.
AMY POEHLER: Who is that under there?
BRUCE: And now, Clinton is hoping being live from New York will help liven her likability. Now, Hillary Clinton didn't just poke at herself, she took a stab at Donald Trump, even showing off her Trump impersonation. Now, Clinton's new personable push comes at a critical time with he first Democratic debate just nine days away. Dan and Cecilia.
DAN HARRIS: Yeah. And those poll numbers dropping and Bernie Sanders raising a lot of money. A critical time indeed.