According to veteran cast member Rob Schneider, Kate McKinnon’s post-presidential election cold open signaled the end of “Saturday Night Live.”
According to the “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo” actor, the late-night sketch show never recovered after McKinnon did a somber rendition of “Hallelujah” dressed as Hillary Clinton at the opening of the first episode following Donald Trump’s election victory in 2016.
“I hate crapping on my own show,” Rob Schneider told Glenn Beck, a controversial conservative political commentator, on his podcast earlier this week.
“It’s reasonable that Hillary Clinton lost. She isn’t the most likable individual in the room. And then, when Kate McKinnon appeared on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ in the cold opening and all, dressed as Hillary Clinton and began performing ‘Hallelujah,’ I actually prayed. ‘Please finish with a joke.'”
‘Don’t do it. Please do not go there.’ And there was no joke at the conclusion, so I said, “It’s over.” It’s all over. ‘It’s not coming back,’ he continued.
Rob Schneider Tweet
Rob Schneider, who has become increasingly conservative in his political views and has been accused of spreading COVID-19 misinformation in recent years, went on to complain that late-night talk shows and hosts such as Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert are “indoctrinating” their audiences.
“You could take the comedic indoctrination process that’s going on with each of the late-night hosts and exchange them,” he said. “That’s how you know it’s no longer interesting.”
Schneider first appeared on “SNL” as a writer in 1988 before becoming an ensemble member for four seasons between 1990 and 1994.
Meanwhile, McKinnon left NBC’s long-running sketch series in May after an 11-season run amid a significant cast shakeup that included Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, and Kyle Mooney leaving the show.
She explained how the cold open came together earlier this year, calling Leonard Cohen’s famous ballad “the most beautiful song ever written, one of my top three songs of all time my entire life.”
Her performance was even more poignant because Cohen died just days before the concert.
“I’d always understood ‘Hallelujah’ in the context of a romantic relationship, as had most of us,” McKinnon told Esquire in May.
However, she stated that her feelings about the beloved ballad shifted in the days following Trump’s victory.
“And then this verse — in this moment when it was so emotional for everyone in the country when no matter what side you were on, it was a moment of surprise and high-octane emotion – I suddenly understood it in a new light.”
“It’s about love and how love is a slog, but it’s worth it. I suddenly understood it as, like, the love of this idea that is America. That all people are created equal is the most beautiful idea in the world, but the execution has been long and tough and we’re still just trying to get it right. But that it’s worth it, and that it will always be worth it.”