Saturday Night Live: Watch Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton's moving rendition of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'

The SNL star took to the stage solo to sit at a piano and deliver an impassioned tribute to the late musical icon 

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The Independent Culture

How do you open a comedy show after a week like this? Unsurprisingly, there was a lot of curiosity surrounding Saturday Night Live's first post-election cold open, specifically when the weekly sketch show has engaged so fully with the election's various debates and controversies

But there were no laughs this time. In a rare departure, SNL saw Kate McKinnon take the stage solo as her Hillary Clinton character, but not to crack jokes or to make light of the Democratic candidate's surprise loss. Sitting at a piano, McKinnon delivered a graceful, impassioned rendition of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' - in added tribute to the recent passing of the cultural icon. 

In light of the election's results, the song took on an added significance delivered through McKinnon's Clinton; particularly in the lines, "I did my best/It wasn’t much/I couldn’t feel/So I tried to touch/I told the truth/I didn’t come to fool ya."

McKinnon then ended the song visibly moved; looking straight into the camera and tearfully uttering, "I'm not giving up, and neither should you."

The cold open saw a notable absence from Alec Baldwin's Donald Trump, though questions will now arise as to whether the actor will continue playing the character into the future, considering his appearance was intended only to last the length of the election.

That said, it's important to point out that - despite McKinnon's incredible, profound perfomance in this cold open - Saturday Night Live will be facing certain questions about their role in normalising Trump in the cultura; narrative, having invited the Republican candidate to host back in November of last year - to much protest and criticism. 


The episode saw Dave Chappelle host, delivering a stirring monologue on Trump's election win and resurrecting many of his most beloved Chappelle Show characters for a spoof of The Walking Dead's infamous season 7 opener.

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