When Saturday Night Live dabbles in politics, they’re bound to ruffle someone’s feathers. Even cast veteran Rob Schneider wasn’t pleased with some of the sketch comedy series’ choices — especially during the 2016 election cycle — saying Kate McKinnon’s (as Hillary Clinton) rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” was the moment he realized the show was “over.”
“I hate to crap on my own show,” Schneider told The Blaze’s Glenn Beck during a chat about how the comedian’s politics have shifted towards the right in recent years. The topic came up when Schneider accused some comedy shows of “indoctrinating” their viewers with more liberal political ideas.
Schneider explained: “When Hillary Clinton lost — which is understandable why she lost. She’s not exactly the most logical person in the room. And then when Kate McKinnon went out there on Saturday Night Live in the cold opening and all that, and she’s dressed as Hillary Clinton, and she started playing ‘Hallelujah.’ I literally prayed, ‘please have a joke at the end. Don’t do this. Please don’t go down there.’ And there was no joke at the end, and I went, ‘It’s over. It’s over. It’s not gonna come back.’”
But SNL isn’t the only guilty party in Schneider’s mind. Though he didn’t name names, he criticized popular late night hosts for participating in similar “indoctrination”: “You can take the comedic indoctrination process happening with each of the late night hosts and you can exchange them with each other,” he said. “That’s how you know they’re not interesting anymore.”
The SNL bit Schneider referenced aired in November 2016, the week after Donald Trump was elected president. After singing the Cohen classic in a pantsuit, McKinnon turned towards the camera, saying: “I’m not giving up, and neither should you,” before abruptly breaking character to give the usual “live from New York…” call to action.
While we agree with Schneider that McKinnon’s cold open was a bit hard to watch, we think its cringe effect is less about its political references, and more due to the fact that it’s really not powerful enough to “indoctrinate” anyone at all. (Revisit it below, if you must.)
And not that we’ve been in touch with Lorne Michaels lately, but we don’t think he’s the type to take creative advice from the guy who once implied he’d shoot anyone who forced him to get the COVID-19 vaccine— or, what he calls “unapproved experimental gene therapy.”
Sure, Schneider might have some comedy cred for the few memorable characters he played on SNL in the ’90s.