SNL: Kate McKinnon's Hillary Clinton Sings Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'

President-elect Donald Trump was not represented at the start Saturday Night Live‘s post-Election Day episode. Instead, the series did away with its usual cold open to pay homage to Hillary Clinton‘s ill-fated candidacy as well as the late Leonard Cohen.

McKinnon, in character as the former Secretary of State, took to a grand piano to sing Cohen’s iconic “Hallelujah,” including:

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you.
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah.

At the close of her rendition, McKinnon turned to the camera, and as Clinton, told viewers “I’m not giving up, and neither should you.”Cohen’s “Hallelujah” has been the soundtrack to some of TV’s most poignant moments — perhaps ever. He passed away on Monday at the age of 82.

What did you think of SNL‘s decision to do away with a cold open and pay tribute to Clinton and Cohen? Watch it again above and then weigh in below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Steve says:

    Well done for a multitude of reasons.

    • Yep! says:

      Absolutely, what a powerful opening of SNL. McKinnon is so talented, and the sentiment so genuine, and Cohen’s song is always so beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes. RIP Leonard Cohen.

    • Diana says:

      LOL moment in the song: ‘Hillary’ singing “I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool ya’.
      Maybe if Hillary had told the truth instead of lying and trying to cover up her shady dealings, she would be president- elect today.

      • Gregory House. says:

        And yet some think that wasn’t so supposed to be laugh out loud hilarious.
        I’m not sure many of the people here are willing to understand how ridiculous that line is coming out of that character’s mouth…

      • Sue says:


      • Mary says:

        So you elect a racist, , a demeaner of women, a man that takes no responsibility for his mistakes, who flip flops on every issue, who cuddles up with a man who has killed and tortured his citizens. A man who says if he does not win he won’t concede, You more than likely get angry when the democratic youth protests. Would you feel the same if Trump supporters got their guns and protested as some said they would?
        After all the hearings,investigations by the GOP and the FBI,they find nothing criminal, yet you persist in saying she’ says liar. You won the election. The USA lost.

        • meleliot says:

          I’m pretty sure if we compared and contrasted Hillarys list of cons to Trumps (without prejudice on either side), Hillarys would be the more egregious. I really wish someone could do it. It would be very interesting.

  2. Blair Dalton says:

    Thank you SNL, I needed that moment. Beautiful.

  3. Rebecca says:

    This was beautiful and Chappelle’s monologue had me in tears. I honestly wasn’t sure how this show was going to move forward but it’s been masterful so far.

  4. keith says:

    All week I was wondering how they were going to handle the situation. Watching it thinking yes this is perfect. Almost in tears.

  5. Sandra Reed says:

    Loved it!! KATE ROCKS! Great attribute for Cohen and Clinton

  6. beckyparkins says:

    Awesome!! Thank you Kate and SNL. It was perfect!!

  7. Sarah says:

    That was perfect. Well done Kate and SNL.

  8. Meghan says:

    What an emotional and cathartic opening to the show. It was absolutely perfect. I don’t even have words. Props to Kate McKinnon.

  9. Anthony says:

    THANK YOU SNL!!! Much needed!!! STELLAR!!!

  10. Coop says:

    I doubt I had the reaction they were hoping for. On the bright side, Chappelle showed up and saved the day.

  11. Geo says:

    Absolutely perfect on about eight different levels. Thank you, Kate.

  12. Sarah says:

    I’m not a Clinton fan (nor Trump), but that was very moving. Loved it.

  13. Saturday night lost says:

    I kept waiting for something funny to happen on, you know, a comedy show. But when she turned to the camera and spewed that crap i changed the channel. This is ridiculous. Does the show not realize half the country voted for trump? What kind of business tries this hard to lose half its customers?

    • Infinite Hope says:

      One that believes in saying what it believes more than alienating some viewers who probably never much cared for a show that has always found itself on the right (aka progressive) side of history for the last four decades. And as a point of fact, less than half of the country actually voted in this election. Of that half, less than half actually did vote for Donald Trump. The electoral college is a broken system and has been for at least the last fifty years. I truly hope this election inspires people to move to change it. I know I will. Good luck to you in life.

    • Comedy? says:

      Perfectly said, won’t tune in again!

  14. Sheryl says:


  15. Lily says:

    I cried so hard. I’m glad they’re acknowledging the national tragedy of this awful time. Not totally sure it makes up for what they did in allowing that monster to host though. This is partially on them and the rest of the media for normalizing him. They have to make up for it every day for however long we’re forced to endure this.

    • Coop says:

      A legitimate election isn’t a “tragedy”, it’s something millions and millions of people around the world wish they had. The people currently going around social media comparing 11/8 to 9/11 need to jump off a bridge. I didn’t vote for him, but I’m really starting to wish I had.

      • JB says:

        Are you a white Christian man?

      • Yep! says:

        Though the outcome of that horrific racist, hypocritical, misogynistic pig being put on a path to the White House is indeed a tragedy, I sincerely doubt that it was a legitimate election. One thing I agree with that trump said was that the election was rigged. I believe it was indeed rigged – by that orange buffoon and his mafia (putin’s team probably helped). I don’t buy for one second that you have record high voter registration, early voting, and absentee ballot submissions, plus very long lines at all the polls and all the intensity/drama of this election, and then end up with 45% of eligible voters not actually voting. Even more interesting was the majority of that alleged non-voting percentage were apparently Democrats, most of them leaning toward Hillary. Really? I could see maybe 15%, but not 45%, that just doesn’t add up. I’d like to see the numbers of those items manually added up, because I think people would find the numbers to be different.

        • meleliot says:

          Oh my God! I am so tired of the whining. Suck it up for cryin out loud. Trump is president…for better or worse. Let’s just say a prayer for him, us and our great country.

          • Morisot says:

            I’m with you

          • Yep! says:

            NO to everything you said. If you’re tired of reading about people who are questioning everything trump, then maybe you should read a book, because that is about the only place you will be able to avoid the reactions. Also, trump is not president, only president-elect until January, unless something happens before then. Facts still matter, regardless of what trump and his minions think/say. Along with so many activists in the country, I’m taking action – protesting, signing/circulating petitions, demanding investigations, etc. – to try to get this situation rectified before that ugly monster gets inaugurated. Have you seen how much bullying and hate crimes have spiked since the election because all the bigots and bullies feel empowered? Not acceptable, I’m also horrified that there were so many people who did actually vote for an openly racist/sexist hate-monger, so I believe our country currently needs a lot of work, work that I am participating in with gusto. I’m not going to be complacent….all the people who came before me and fought hard to have rights and freedoms that should have belonged to them in the first place deserve better than that.

        • Jason says:

          Here’s another typical liberal crying over the results of a legitimate election. The country isn’t designed to be run by ONE party forever. The Democrats aren’t the be ALL of politics. As a gay republican I couldn’t be happier to see the transfer of power back to the conservative base. As we were told in 2008 and 2012, GET OVER IT. Move on with your life.

          • TV Gord says:

            Be serious. Do you really expect the left to get over it and move on any more than the conservatives did through eight years of Obama?

            As a non-American, I’m embarrassed for both sides. There\s no attempt to try to find common ground and maybe even work together on some things. The continuing and increasing polarization on those of you on the extreme left and extreme right are destined to destroy what was once a country with promise. I see no promise from what I read in all of this pure hatred.

          • I am an Independent and my concerns and fears have nothing to do with the transfer of power to a conservative base. I have lived through many elections and conservative congresses and while many times I did not agree with them, I RESPECTED THEM! That is the difference here, power has been given to a racist, hypocritical, homophobic, sexist, misogynistic (among many other worrisome traits) individual.

        • Coop says:

          Same question that gets asked when Republicans (or any other party/person) scream “rigged!”: Do you realize how many people would have to be involved in a conspiracy to actually rig an election? You’d be talking thousands upon thousands. It can’t happen on a state scale, let alone a national one.

      • Amy says:

        Nice to know that good people like you exist. Where the belief is ‘if you voice your opinion too much, I want you to die’. BTW that was sarcasm on the good person bit.
        Democracy also includes right to protest on the part of a system they do not believe in. Clinton won popular vote. Trump won the system. People have a right to be angry. You do not have a right to tell them how to feel, as it annoys you.

    • syvyn11 says:

      NATIONAL TRAGEDY? No, Katrina is a national tragedy, 9/11 was a nation tragedy, space shuttles blowing up was a national tragedy. This was a election and one side losing isn’t a freaking national tragedy!

      Grow up and get a freaking spine.

      • Patricia Rushing says:

        syvyn11, if you can’t understand why this is nowhere near a normal election loss, you are a hopeless jerk. What our country just elected — the creature, the hideous thing — has the whole world slack jawed in horror — except of course, for other white nationalist leaders like Marine Le Penn or murderous dictators like Putin. But I don’t expect intelligence and understanding from the likes of you.

        • Coop says:

          And people wonder what drove away a significant number of Obama voters into the hands of Donald Trump…

        • PAX says:

          Oh Jesus are you kidding me?? Get over it! It’s done, did you wake up today? Are you living your life?? The Clintons are evil people and so is Trump but guess what deal with it stop acting like cry babies

        • syvyn11 says:

          I didn’t say one thing positive or negative about trump. I’m saying if a nation tragedy is someone winning a election that you didn’t like, then you are the hopeless jerk.

      • Steve says:

        Remember your words throughout these next 4 years. What happened this week will effect you, your family and mine in horrible ways. The man that was elected is mentally ill and dangerous.

  16. TV Gord says:

    Leonard Cohen actually died on Monday, but it was only announced on Thursday. That means he didn’t know the outcome of the election. Just as well. It probably would have killed him!

    • Michael Summerset says:

      He was Canadian so I doubt he would have cared.

      • Kim R says:

        I’m Canadian and I can assure, we care and watched carefully.

      • TV Gord says:

        You mustn’t have any idea how worried we Canadians are about Trump as President. The radiation will waft up here from Kim Jong Un’s nukes, the next time Donald tweets the wrong thing at 3am.

        As for Cohen, he lived (and died) in Los Angeles.

  17. webly3 says:

    The cold open couldn’t have been more brilliant. Loved it!

  18. Michael James Hofer says:

    Respect….God bless you Hillary.

  19. Brynne says:

    Perfection SNL & Kate. Such a classy move and great way to end a difficult week.

  20. Michael Summerset says:

    Some people are sore losers. Who put Trump in power? Americans. Millions of them. This wasn’t a case of one country invading another, it was a country deciding it’s own future. It didn’t involve tanks and guns, just free choice and action. And nobody died in the process. It’s important to put things into perspective.

    • Michelle R. says:

      Here’s perspective. He lost the popular vote. More people voted for another candidate. The way the system works, he gets to be president, but that take away from “a country deciding its own future.”

      Also, in the name of perspective, and based on things he’s said, teachers are stumbling for how to make their students feel safe. Kids are terrified their parents will be deported. Rape survivors are deeply wounded that we gave power to someone who used his power to spy on women in states of undress and quite possible to assault them. People with per-existing conditions, or with kids with preexisting conditions have to wonder what’s next.

      If he’s a much better man than this, than he is a poor communicator of that. If he is all the things he appears to be, it seems a reasonable perspective to be freaked out at best and terrified at worst.

      • Millennialssuck says:

        Oh please, I’m gay and I’m not terrified!! Also why all the sudden are we questioning the process of voting? There has been other times people have won the popular vote. It’s because we have cry baby millennials who are actually protesting and rioting. They are destroying properties and going after the police. Wake up! Trump isn’t even in office yet but you know who you don’t see Obama or Clinton telling these bitch babies to stop because they didn’t get their way. And if you believe everything you hear in the media then Clinton runs a child sex ring on a private island, look it up.

        • Collette says:

          You are absolutely right. Millennials are a generation of hothouse tomatoes raised in an everyone gets a trophy society. They’ve never learned to lose graciously, deal with adversity without helicopter parents kissing their boo boos or fend for themselves. Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” should be covered repetitively from 5th grade through college.

        • Cat says:

          Read up on Pence who has already said he wants to base his Vice Presidency on Cheney, then you might be afraid.

      • Coop says:

        It’s not a national vote, it’s 50 separate state votes and trying to combine them all together is pointless. In most competitive states, the winner didn’t get a majority of votes. Some states don’t have any significant/close races or issues on the ballot, so people don’t vote. In some cases, the major down ballot race is for Senate where two candidates from the same party are on the ballot, giving the opposing party no reason to show up (see: California this year). As to Trump being a big scary monster, who cares about him? The Republicans only have 52 Senate seats and you need 60 to pass legislation like that mentioned above. That’s ignoring the fact that many Republicans have laughed at some of his suggestions and they’d be DOA in Congress. Everyone just needs to step back and take a deep breath. The whole point of our system was to put enough checks and balances in place to prevent an idiot holding the Presidency from ruining the country. Good thing, as both major candidates were garbage this year.

        • Brett says:

          Oh, be careful guys. Using logic and sense is truly going to make a few heads explode here. I’m still rolling my eyeballs to and fro regarding the “national tragedy” remark. I do love me some hysterical millennials coming forth with comments like that. A “tragedy” is what happened in Paris a year ago. A “tragedy” is what happened in the Pulse nightclub in Florida. Think back to Sandy Hook and realize what a true “TRAGEDY” is. Spare me your whining and melodramatic pearl clutching, it actually is now just annoying. I guess never truly understanding the difference between who won and who lost is too difficult for some of you. When the vote doesn’t go your way–now it’s all wrong–yeah, that’s a mature response–pathetic more like it. Wow…….

          • Sophoia says:

            Democratic elections can turn into tragedies. History taught us that. It’s not a question of being upset because one side lost and the other won, it’s a question of actually being frightened of what the side that won is going to do with its power. Just because you don’t agree with how people are voicing their concerns does not mean that those concerns are not legitimate.

  21. April says:

    It was just what I’ve needed this week.

  22. Pat says:

    Perfect and very much needed. Thank you.

  23. Daniel S Smith says:

    First tears this week. I loved it

  24. K says:

    Too funny that one of the lyrics sung as Hillary was “I told the truth”. If only she had, she’d probably be President Elect right now. Although I imagine this stuff plays well to the far left currently mourning their shocking loss, I think it is further turning off the same people in the middle who helped decide the election. And the rioting is doing that too. It’s a shame for SNL that they’ve become so one note. I remember a time when they were willing to attack both sides of the political spectrum and had a real edge to their material.

  25. Yolanda Torres says:

    It bought tears to my eyes.
    Cohen’s Hallelujah is e same one of my favorites, always moving and and allows you to feel the pain while comforting at the time.
    SNL, thank you and thank you Hillary.

  26. syvyn11 says:

    She won’t give up? Sorry, clinton loving people. She might not give up, but America told her to “GO AWAY!”

    • Kermit says:

      I think that has very little to do with Hillary Clinton and everything to do with Kate McKinnon.

    • Michelle R. says:

      Not really. Your vote isn’t magically worth more than any other vote, and more people voted for her than him.

      • grazelled says:

        I think he actually won the popular vote with Michigan’s numbers finally added in although not I’m not sure if it’s official yet.

        • KatsMom says:

          Michigan hasn’t updated its election results on the Secretary of State’s website since the 10th. There have been no massive updates. And, according to the most recent numbers, Hillary still has a 620,000 vote lead, and Trump only won Michigan by 13,000+ votes…something like 0.3% of the total votes cast. Given that it’s such a purple state, I highly doubt the absentee ballots are going to provide a massive swing in Trump’s direction. The alt-right sites have declared Trump the winner of the popular vote based on, and try not to laugh, Twitter. These knuckleheads are trying to claim 1) that states have updated their Twitter pages with official results, but somehow forgot to update their websites. And 2) that there were 3.8 million fraudulent votes cast, so take them away and Trump won the popular vote too. Don’t believe their garbage and spread it as fact, please.

          • grazelled says:

            Never did I say it’s over, I just said it might be true as I’m trying to find out the final total on the popular vote as a statement of fact by the MI election board on THEIR site. It may surprise you but I actually do read news sites and fact check my sources, please don’t assume we’re all gullible or less “enlightened” than you think. I usually read my news from a variety of sources finding that a mixture of BBC, CNN, Fox, NYTimes gives a more accurate view of what’s going on. BBC is my go to site though.

    • She won the popular vote, so, no, America didn’t tell her to go away.

      • syvyn11 says:

        If you look at a county map of the election, yeah America did tell her to go away. Just the major metro areas love her. That’s why we have a electoral college.

        • Morisot says:

          syvyn11, I’m with you. We gave Obama his eight years. Let’s give Trump a chance during the four years he has won.

          • deSmiffs says:

            The GOP absolutely DID NOT “give Obama a chance” for eight years. What happened was that they as a group, from leadership on down through the agitprop of FoxNews, worked assiduously against Obama and OPENLY DECLARED THAT THEY WERE ROOTING FOR HIM TO FAIL. Which is the exact opposite of what Obama has already done in this first post-election week. Not that any of that matters to Trump supporters, because they appear to be immune to facts.

          • Morisot says:

            Hey, deSmiffs, 1st fact = get the quote right.

  27. Mariclaire D'Angela says:

    Beautiful. Perfect opening. What a talent. Good work team. Chapelle was great too whole show awesome👍

  28. Sara says:

    Perfection. I am in tears. A beautiful tribute to both Hillary and to Leonard Cohen.

  29. Kevin says:

    Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton rocks. She’s one of my all time favorite female cast members on SNL to date.

    • Jimmy says:

      Of the recent female cast members, I prefer Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Kristen Wiig. I’m not a big fan of Kate because I don’t think she’s very funny. Maybe her humor has to grow on me. I didn’t like her in ghostbusters either and I preferred the original.

  30. Jamie says:

    Bravo, Kate. ❤️💙💔

  31. Frank says:


  32. Ali Schoos says:

    Thank you. Just thank you.

  33. Lorna Mongan says:

    Kate did a great job, she evoked feeling, unlike Hillary who has none!

  34. DarkDefender says:

    Awesomeness on so any levels.

  35. Shep Shepard says:

    Thinking that Clinton is in the same league is folly. Cohen wrote about truth. Clinton wouldn’t recognize truth if it slapped her in the face. SHes blaming everyone but herself for her failed attempt in the election. Typical. And BTW, America DESERVES the Trump!

  36. Abby Rodriguezr says:

    Wonderful and both deserving of that tribute.

  37. Shemp Howard says:

    This would be emotional if Hillary wasn’t the coldest bitch and least emotional thing on the planet. Really, I’m not excited Trump one, but I’m not sad Hillary lost. Maybe if Sanders would have sung it or something.

  38. Phun says:


  39. Andrea Day says:

    Thank you. This was spot on for a nation hurting and in memory of a wonderful composer. SNL—always relevant.

  40. Collette says:

    Sacrilege. She did her best to line her pockets and tried to get a mandate to continue to do so. Using Cohen’s masterpiece to whitewash Clinton’s perfidy is shameful.

  41. Darlene says:

    SNL has been pro Hillary all season. Why most of us tuned out. Watched only to see Chappelle. Kate saying don’t give up as Hillary? Nothing to give up. She lost.

  42. Raul J says:

    Hillary’s election would have been the national tragedy. To put the lying, thieving Clintons back in the White House would have been a disgrace. It would be nice if the first woman president gets there on her own merits, and not because of who her husband is. To all these whining millennias-man up!

  43. Jason says:

    Typical liberals on here. I am happy to see you all in mourning. We republicans are rejoicing because now we can destroy Obama’s legacy and undo everything you’ve corrupted and ruined for the past eight years.

  44. ejdax37 says:

    Is there anything that women (McKinnon) can’t do?!? Love this!

  45. Paul says:

    Brilliant Poignant Performance

  46. Jimmy says:

    Just watched it. RIP Cohen. I thought Kate as HRC performing it wasn’t great. Thought Chappelle’s monologue was great.

  47. Michael M says:

    They must not have confirmed Alec Baldwin’s availability on account of all of SNL arrogantly believed that Clinton would win. Bet they scrambled their arses all week thinking of new ideas. #HowsThatCrow

  48. JP MD says:

    So, Leonard was a Canadian and they can’t watch the video because it is not available in their country ? ! ….. EPIC FAIL.

  49. The best opening ever and very sad.