Rob Schneider Says ‘SNL’ Was ‘Over’ After This Kate McKinnon Moment

Kate McKinnon’s post-presidential election cold open spelled the end of “Saturday Night Live,” according to veteran cast member Rob Schneider.

The “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo” actor said the late-night sketch show never recovered after McKinnon performed a somber rendition of “Hallelujah” dressed as Hillary Clinton at the start of the first episode following Donald Trump’s election win in 2016.

“I hate to crap on my own show,” Schneider told controversial conservative political commentator Glenn Beck on his podcast earlier this week.

“When Hillary Clinton lost — which is understandable. She’s not exactly the most likable person in the room. And then when Kate McKinnon went out there on ‘Saturday Night Live’ in the cold opening and all that, and she started 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,’” he added.

Schneider, who has become increasingly conservative in his political beliefs and has been accused of spreading COVID-19 misinformation in recent years, went on to lament that late-night talk shows and hosts like Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert are “indoctrinating” viewers.

“You can take the comedic indoctrination process happening with each of the late-night hosts, and you could exchange them with each other,” he said. “That’s how you know it’s not interesting anymore.”

Schneider began his “SNL” career as a writer in 1988 before joining as a cast member for four seasons between 1990 and 1994.

McKinnon, meanwhile, stepped away from NBC’s long-running sketch series in May after an 11-season run amid a major cast shakeup that also saw Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney leave the show.

Earlier this year, she shared how the cold open came together, describing Leonard Cohen’s iconic ballad as “the most beautiful song ever written, one of my top three songs of all time my whole life.”

Her rendition packed an even greater emotional punch, as Cohen died just days before the show.

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“I’d always understood ‘Hallelujah’ in the context of a romantic relationship, as had most of us,” McKinnon told Esquirein May.

But she said her perspective about the beloved ballad changed in the days after Trump’s election.

“And then this verse — in this moment when it was so emotional for everyone in the country, when no matter what side you were on, it was a moment of surprise and high-octane emotion – I suddenly understood it in a new light.”

“It’s about love, and how love is a slog but it’s worth it. I suddenly understood it as, like, the love of this idea that is America. That all people are created equal, and that’s the most beautiful idea in the world, but the execution has been long and tough and we’re still just trying to get it right. But that it’s worth it, and that it will always be worth it.”

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