Saturday Night Live opened it’s season 42 finale with Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump performing the classic Leonard Cohen song, “Hallelujah.”
Throughout the performance, Baldwin was slowly joined by members of Trump’s family and cabinet. The skit featured Kate McKinnon as Kellyanne Conway, Beck Bennett as Mike Pence, Aidy Bryant as Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Cicily Strong as Melania Trump, Steve Bannon as the Grim Reaper and Scarlett Johansson as Ivanka Trump in a surprise cameo appearance.
“I’m not giving up because I didn’t do anything wrong, but I can’t speak for these people,” said Baldwin’s Trump, pointing to the cast on stage following the song.
The performance was in reference to SNL‘s first post-election episode in November of last year. The episode featured Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton playing the song in a much more serious fashion, paying tribute to Cohen, who had passed away that week. The performance also served as a farewell to McKinnon’s Clinton character on the show.
Baldwin’s performance has led to speculation that the skit may have marked the retirement of his Trump character as well. With Alec Baldwin’s busy schedule and talk of Trump’s impeachment buzzing around, it seems to be a real possibility. “Look, I’d love to keep doing this per my availability,” said Baldwin to The Hollywood Reporter, “but I have other things I’m going to do, so I guess we’ll figure it out.”
Following Baldwin’s cold open, Dwayne Johnson, who hosted the show, half-jokingly confirmed that he would be running for president in 2020, alluding to the idea that Baldwin would be his running mate. After Baldwin graciously accepted the offer, Johnson revealed that he was actually referring to Tom Hanks, who then joined them on stage. After some witty banter and series of jokes, Johnson and Hanks finally joined hands in celebration as a “Johnson Hanks 2020” banner descended from the ceiling.
The season finale also included a silent tribute to Brad Grey, the former chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, who lost his battle with cancer on May 14.
SNL also paid it’s respects to Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, who passed away on May 18. The episode ran Soundgarden’s performance on the show in a 1996 episode. Jim Carrey, who hosted the episode, tweeted this:
This is the guitar that Chris Cornell and Soundgarden gave to me the night we did SNL together. A very special man. pic.twitter.com/waPpDdOWvx
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) May 21, 2017
The episode was SNL‘s highest rated finale since 2011, according to Variety.