When Saturday Night Live kicks off its 41st season this weekend, there will be two Hillary Clintons to greet us. The campaign won’t yet confirm it, but rumor has it that Secretary Clinton herself will make a cameo in this Saturday’s cold open—alongside cast member Kate McKinnon, who has inherited the duty of playing Hillary on the show.
According to The New York Times the appearance was intended as a surprise, and could still change; after all, S.N.L. creator Lorne Michaels has been known to change his lineup at the last minute. But Clinton turned down an opportunity to address the Human Rights Campaign to make the appearance, indicating just how much she values the opportunity to show off her human, funny side on what’s still one of the country’s most important sources of political satire.
As James Andrew Miller pointed out earlier this week, Clinton’s delayed appearance on S.N.L. in 2008—she backed out of a cameo and then only came on after Barack Obama had already stopped by—may have hurt her in that primary campaign. And though she doesn’t have nearly as strong a challenger so far as Obama was in the 2008 race, she’s still struggling to put across the ever-important “likability” factor. When she finally did appear on S.N.L. opposite Amy Poehler in 2008, she pulled it off. Can Saturday’s appearance—should it happen—give her that much-needed bump?