Alec Baldwin plays 'Saturday Night Live's best Donald Trump yet in season 42 premiere
Saturday Night Live kicked off its 42nd season tackling politics head on, and it's clear from the first episode that this election cycle is going to be a boon for the long-running sketch comedy series.
The show, hosted by Suicide Squad star Margot Robbie, started off, as expected, by lampooning the recent presidential debates with Alec Baldwin debuting his spot-on Donald Trump impression while recent Emmy winner Kate McKinnon was in top form, bringing a new enthusiasm and energy to her beloved Hillary Clinton caricature.
Baldwin's Trump hit all the highlights fans hoped he would mock -- including his hatred towards Rosie O'Donnell, his pronunciation of "China," and his self-professed calm temperament -- while McKinnon balanced Clinton's zealous drive to be president with the politician's calm and measured demeanor barely containing her excitement.
It was an impressive cold open that managed to stay fair and balanced while at the same time mocking the absurdity of Trump's debate performance (and jokingly revealing his "romance" with Sean Hannity).
NBC announced that Baldwin had signed on to play Trump for the duration of the election cycle, which means fans can look forward to watching the Oscar-nominated actor brilliantly satirize the 70-year-old business mogul for most of the upcoming season.
However, the former 30 Rock star wasn't the only celeb to guest star in the season premiere -- Larry David returned to once again show off his unnervingly perfect Bernie Sanders impression during a Family Feud sketch later in the show which pitted celebrity Clinton supporters against Trump supporters and was one of the stronger political sketches of the night.
As for Robbie's role as the night's host, the 26-year-old actress finally got a chance to show off her comedic side (aside from some brilliant moments of levity in her turn as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad), and she meshed brilliantly with the cast and excelled in high-pressure environment of live comedy.
While a few sketches were based primarily on Robbie's attractiveness (just like the two times Chris Hemsworth hosted), the joke was brilliantly subverted in the sketch "The Librarian," in which things get very weird very, very quickly:
Leslie Jones even mocked her own recent twitter hack in a Mr. Robot parody that hit so many high notes about the show's performances and cinematography (and Jones' real-life invasion of privacy nightmare) it was a shame it was buried at the end of the episode as the night's final sketch.
This was SNL's first episode since dropping long-time castmembers Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah (as well as first-season featured player Jon Rudnitsky), but newcomer Alex Moffat and SNL writer-turned-actor Mikey Day made a huge splash in their debuts.
Day performed with the confidence and timing of a seasoned vet in many sketches, while Moffat shined in his brief appearance as Donald Trump's son, Eric. Meanwhile, Melissa Villasenor didn't get nearly as much air time, but had some promising moments as minor characters through the episode.
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda is set to host next week's new episode on Oct. 8, with musical guest Twenty One Pilots.
Check out the video below for a look at some of SNL's previous Donald Trump impersonators.