10:05pm PT by Jennifer Konerman
'SNL': Margot Robbie Tries Out Her Ivanka Trump, Keira Knightley Impressions
NBC's Saturday Night Live kicked off its new season with Margot Robbie as host and Alec Baldwin's first appearance as Donald Trump, with special appearances from Larry David and Darrell Hammond.
The season 42 premiere, also featuring The Weeknd as musical guest, was Robbie's SNL hosting debut. The Australian actress, who just finished a busy summer with her roles as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad and Jane in The Legend of Tarzan, poked fun at herself and the presidential debate's recent fact-checking conversation. Robbie even fact-checked her own monologue.
The season premiere's cold open started off with a faux presidential debate in which Baldwin as Trump attacked Kate McKinnon's Hillary Clinton and explained the economy: "Our jobs are fleeing this country. They’re going to Mexico. They’re going to Jina,” he said, trying to pronounce “China.”
“I will stop that," he continued. "If Hillary knew how, she would have done it already. Period. End of story. I stayed calm, just like I promised," he told moderator Lester Holt (Michael Che), declaring himself the victor. When Holt reminded him that the debate was still going on, Trump quickly responded. “My microphone is broken. She broke it. With Obama.”
In a parody of Family Feud, Robbie played a stoic Ivanka Trump with teammates Vladimir Putin (Beck Bennett) and Chris Christie (Bobby Moynihan) against Team Clinton, with Bill Clinton (Hammond) and Bernie Sanders (David).
Sanders faced off against Kate McKinnon as Trump adviser KellyAnne Conway, who revealed her game plan was to "talk and talk until people forget the question, then I'm going to make an insane claim about Hillary: Hillary Clinton is North Korean."
Robbie's Ivanka Trump needed some help from her brothers, who suddenly appeared from behind the podium with her to attempt to answer Steve Harvey's (Kenan Thompson) questions, before he called them "Children of the Corn."
Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda (next week's host) even made an appearance, thanks to SNL castmember Cecily Strong, who played on Team Clinton but first had a rhyme ready for the host.
In "Melania Moments," in the vein of "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey," Strong starred as the candidate's wife, staring out the window, wondering about life's big questions: "She saw a man walk just out of sight and wondered, 'What happens to them? To the people. Once they leave Fifth Avenue. Do they disappear?'"
Robbie showed off her Keira Knightley impression in a roundtable interview along with McKinnon's character, a legendary actress named Debette Goldry. Through laughs, Robbie explained that the roles she is offered often are limited to "the girlfriend" or "the beautiful girlfriend."
To conclude the season premiere, Leslie Jones approached Mr. Robot's Elliot, portrayed by Pete Davidson, to help find out who hacked her over the summer, in "a puzzle unlike any he's faced before." The investigation got more interesting when Jones revealed that her password was "password."
When Christian Slater's character from the USA show appeared, Jones vowed that she wasn't "afraid of no ghost."
Miranda will make his hosting debut on the Oct. 8 episode with Twenty One Pilots as musical guest.
SNL has made several changes coming into this season, adding new castmembers after the departures of Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah, both of whom have since booked Showtime pilots. Jon Rudnitsky also will not return after one season. This season's additions include Alex Moffat, Melissa Villasenor and writer-turned-performer Mikey Day, and two new head writers, Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider.