Kate McKinnon Opens SNL With Heart-wrenching Rendition of 'Hallelujah'

The comedian forewent jokes for the somber melodies of the late Leonard Cohen's biggest hit, while Dave Chappelle, who hosted the show, went on to skewer race relations in Trump's America.

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Hillary Clinton Sings Hallelujah On Snl Cold Open 11/12/16
Hillary Clinton sings 'Hallelujah,' during SNL's cold opening. Credit: Screen grab

Taking a break from comedy in their cold opening, arguably for the first time ever, (there was even a joke from Rudy Giuliani in the episode immediately after 9/11), Saturday Night Live opened with a wrenching cover of the late Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' - sang by Kate McKinnon.  Film critic Richard Roeper tweeted soon after that McKinnon, "Is a superhero with the power to stop us in our tracks."

"I am not giving up and neither should you," McKinnon said in an emotional tone, immediately after finishing the song.  Dressed as her Clinton character in her iconic pantsuit, McKinnon played the piano and belted out Cohen's poetic lyrics in an obvious homage to Hillary Clinton's recent loss to Donald Trump. Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump was missing from the show.  

The show, which was hosted by Dave Chappelle, did however feature the long awaited return of Chapelle's notorious character Clayton Bigsby, the blind black white supremacist. When asked in a sketch if he knows he’s black, Bigsby replied, “From what I hear, this hat would say otherwise,” putting on a “Make America Great Again” cap on his head. “Trump’s America now, boy!” he yelled. Chappelle ended the show discussing race relations in the U.S. in his closing monolgoue, saying, "We the historically disenfranchised demade Donald Trump give us a  chance."