(NBC News/Jillian Sederholm and Adam Howard) — In its final live episode before Election Day, "Saturday Night Live" took the opportunity to get in a few extra jabs at each candidate's expense before taking a surprising turn to break the fourth wall — and stopping just short of making a political endorsement.
Saturday's show kicked off with a cold open similar to what we've seen all season with Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton facing off in split-screen, this time poking fun at the investigation over Clinton's emails.
"I never use emails," Trump boasts. "I use a very private, very secure site where one can write whatever they want to and no one can read it It's called Twitter."
"Everyone can see your tweets," a reporter tells him. "Really? And I'm still in this thing?" Trump asks dumbfounded. "America you must really hate this lady."
Then something unexpected happened.
"When I'm elected, I will assign a special prosecutor," Trump begins to rant, but trails off.
"I'm sorry, Kate. I just hate yelling all this stuff at you like this," Baldwin says, breaking character and addressing McKinnon directly.
"I just feel gross all the time about this. Don't you all feel gross?" Baldwin asks the studio audience.
McKinnon also breaks character to agree, and the two clasp hands to run off stage and out of the building.
Baldwin and McKinnon take a dizzying run through Times Square, embracing strangers, sharing food and handing out balloons in a surreal moment of levity.
When they return to the stage, they share a more serious message.
"None of this would have mattered if you don't vote," Baldwin says, still out of character.
"We can't tell you who to vote for, but on Tuesday we all get a chance to choose what kind of country we want to live in," McKinnon says. The actors embrace to call out their final "Live from New York, it's Saturday night!" together as presidential candidates before a winner is declared.
The character-breaking montage was a departure from how the iconic sketch show has traditionally behaved in the final performance before an election, although 2016 has been no traditional campaign season.
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