SNL’s Brilliant Cold Open: “Hillary” Sings “Hallelujah”

Stone-cold brilliant.

One secret to great theatre is to take your audience on a ride, and then make a left turn that changes tone but keeps you on the same ride.

In a sober (not somber) tribute to the end of the election and the passing of legendary songwriter Leonard Cohen, Saturday Night Live’s cold opening featured Kate McKinnon in her “Hillary Clinton” wig and pantsuit seated at a piano singing Cohen’s iconic “Hallelujah.”

The pairing of the song with what many in the nation are feeling (including Hillary) about the election is quietly stunning.

Catch that last set of lyrics, unaltered:

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