Former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Rob Schneider recalled the moment he knew the iconic TV show was “over.” The comedy legend pointed to one “cold opening” about American politics. “I literally prayed…don’t do this,” he said, remembering the skit.
Rob Schneider is a comedic legend with a career spanning Saturday Night Live, films like Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo and The Benchwarmers, and a strong stand-up comedy routine. The one-time SNL cast member granted Glenn Beck an interview, and the subject quickly turned to politics and the influence of Hollywood entertainers.
According to The Blaze, “Schneider joined The Glenn Beck Podcast to tell his story, including how listening to Glenn helped him go from a Hollywood liberal to a conservative who would rather be ostracized than stay silent. He also detailed the sad state of comedy in the woke era, how SNL changed since he left, and the moment he knew his ‘old show’ was officially ‘over.'”
“I hate to crap on my old show,” Schneider told Glenn Beck. “But when I saw, when Hillary Clinton lost … and then when Kate McKinnon went out there on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ on a cold opening … dressed as Hillary Clinton, and she starts 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.”
The SNL bit Schneider referenced aired in November 2016, the week after Donald Trump was elected president. After singing the Leonard Cohen classic in an all-white pantsuit, McKinnon turned towards the camera and said, “I’m not giving up, and neither should you,” before abruptly breaking character to give the usual “live from New York…” call to action. This wasn’t a comedy skit, Schneider claimed, it was a clear political statement.
“Hillary lost and they treated the show as if it was a funeral for America,” reporter Holly Ash wrote about SNL’s cold opening. “Donald Trump hadn’t even been sworn in yet and they immediately drop all comedic pretense and go straight into mourning.”
Schneider also accuses the late-night hosts of using their platform to preach their own personal politics. “You can take the comedic indoctrination process happening with each of the late-night hosts, and you can exchange them with each other. That’s how you know it’s not interesting anymore. There’s not an independent voice anymore,” Schneider said. “It’s all indoctrination by comedic imposition.”
According to Hollywood reporter Christian Toto, Schneider isn’t the only former SNL cast member to embrace conservative politics. “SNL alums are increasingly embracing the Right,” he wrote. “Victoria Jackson did just that a while ago, as did Weekend Update standout Dennis Miller. Jon Lovitz needed to run his own business to realize the Right might be friendlier to his entrepreneurial dreams. David Spade doesn’t wear his politics on his sleeve, but he speaks out early and often against the Left’s cudgel, Cancel Culture,” he continued.
“Schneider was always willing to hear both sides of the ideological aisle, even when he voted for Democrats,” Toto added. “He describes hearing Beck’s monologues on Fox News years ago and agreeing with some, but certainly not all, of what the conservative talker said. Schneider also weighed in on how the First Amendment is under attack.”
“The bellwether of freedom in the world is our freedom of speech. That is under attack, and that is something we have to fight for,” Rob Schneider said. “If I hate what you’re saying, I will fight for your right to say it.”
Some don’t agree with Rob Schneider’s take on Kate McKinnon’s cold opening on SNL, like Yahoo entertainment reporter Abby Jones. “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,” she wrote.
However, one comment that garnered over a thousand “thumbs ups” sees it differently. “I think [Schneider’s] only point was that it wasn’t a joke,” the commenter wrote. “It was preachy. Regardless of what political leaning the message had. The show’s point is (or should be) to make people laugh. Period the end.”