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Hillary Clinton complained to ‘SNL’ about impression of daughter Chelsea

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It has been revealed that Hillary Clinton wrote a letter of complaint to SNL, after an impression of her teenage daughter was broadcast.

The news that the former US presidential candidate wrote in to the show was shared by Saturday Night Live star Julia Sweeney, who spoke about the incident in a recent interview.

Sweeney – who worked on the show between 1990 and 1994 – was appearing on the Fly On The Wall podcast recently when she took a look back at one of her more-controversial skits, which saw her get in hot water from the former First Lady.


Here, she recalled the time she did an impression of Clinton’s then-teenage daughter Chelsea on the show, which soon “rubbed somebody wrong”.

“People were saying how unattractively I was playing Chelsea, and all I did was not wear makeup and put braces on,” she told Dana Carvey and David Spade, who were hosting the podcast. “If you say that, you’re saying I’m unattractive!”

“I wasn’t trying to play [Chelsea] unattractive” she insisted. “I just didn’t wear makeup and put on braces. That was it, and a wig. A long wig.”

American actress, comedian and writer Julia Sweeney at the NBC Studios in New York City, next to a poster commemorating the 15th anniversary of the television sketch show 'Saturday Night Live'
American actress, comedian and writer Julia Sweeney at the NBC Studios in New York City, next to a poster commemorating the 15th anniversary of the television sketch show ‘Saturday Night Live’. CREDIT: Barbara Alper/Getty Images

She continued, adding that the former First Lady, Secretary of State and presidential candidate, directly wrote to the show’s creator Lorne Michaels after the impression aired, criticising those involved.

Sweeney did however admit that she saw the perspective that Clinton was coming from, and confessed that it was wrong to have made an impression of the teenager.


“I understood what Hillary was saying… especially now that I’m a parent,” she added. “It’s like, yeah fuck off. I mean, don’t play kids. That was wrong.

“She was right – that was wrong.”

As reported by The Independent, Chelsea, who is now aged 43, reflected on the sketch last year, and recalled how it changed her perception of comedy when she was a teenager.

“I had a different experience with comedy in some ways than a lot of people, because I was made fun of so much as a child, by people who were professional comics,” she stated at the time.

“When SNL made fun of me, I was like, ‘Wow, a group of adults sat in a room, all decided this was a good idea, nobody thought maybe we shouldn’t make fun of children.’”

Chelsea Clinton and Hillary Clinton at Variety's Power of Women in 2022
Chelsea Clinton and Hillary Clinton at Variety’s Power of Women in 2022. CREDIT: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

The outlet also reported that while Sweeney never imitated Chelsea after the complaint was received, a Wayne’s World-inspired sketch on the show aired in 1992 and saw actors Mike Myers and Dana Carvey mention the then 13-year-old’s appearance.

Myers then proceeded to issue a letter of apology to the Clinton family after the episode aired, and the joke was later removed from reruns.

Earlier this year, another controversial sketch from SNL came to light, which saw Joe Pesci say he “would have slapped” Sinéad O’Connor while hosting the show in 1992.

The remarks came after O’Connor infamously performed Bob Marley’s ‘War’ on the show, ripped up a photo of the pope and replaced the song’s lyric “racism” with “child abuse”, in protest of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

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