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Saturday Night Live Is the Real Winner of the Third Presidential Debate

Hillary feasted during the third and final SNL presidential debate

Lily Sparks

Saturday Night Live this week featured the warm charm of Tom Hanks, the vocal stylings of Lady Gaga, and opened (of course) with a parody of the third and final presidential debate. Though this election has been a fraught and harrowing experience for families across the nation, there's no denying it's also been comedy gold.

Election years are always star-making turns for the SNL cast, and Kate McKinnon's incredible impression of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has evolved into something quite uncanny, Alec Baldwin's cameos as Donald Trump are polished and practiced, but perhaps a missed opportunity for a lesser-known regular cast member to grab some limelight.

Kate McKinnon wins Saturday Night Live's first Emmy in a major acting category

As usual the SNL debate didn't miss a chance to rake the Republican hopeful over the coals, but also unexpectedly dinged Hillary for refusing to answer questions raised by Wikileaks, a topic the show would touch on again in a Weekend Update segment, during which Leslie Jones spoke with fierce and fearless humor about her own recently leaked nudes.

The show mostly split its skits between addressing national tension over the election and spooky Halloween fun, and Hanks did a brilliant job bridging these two incredibly different tones by treating every character as an Oscar-worthy performance. He sat down and had a heart-to-heart with the nation as "America's Dad" for his opening monologue, morphed into a terse yet lovable Trump supporter in "Black Jeopardy," and was not afraid to go full-scale goofy and silly as "David S. Pumpkins" in a surreal "Haunted Elevator" sketch. This man is a national treasure, folks!

Yet again however, the most memorable sketch of the evening wasn't actually live, but another glossy, high-production, pre-taped segment: "A Girl's Halloween," which cut between three friends carefully getting their costumes ready before Halloween celebrations, and the same girls looking like a hot mess in the aftermath of the party night.

Saturday Night Live
will air a Halloween compilation show special Monday, Oct. 31. Benedict Cumberbatch will host the next new episode on Nov. 5, with musical guest Solange.