Sam Sanders

Sam has worked at Vermont Public Radio since October 1978 in various capacities â

It was tense even before they started. Reporters tweeted that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump entered the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner from separate sides of the room, and didn't even shake hands (which at this point really isn't a surprise).

But there was hope that Thursday night's event could serve as a comedic salve for the nation following three decidedly nasty presidential debates. The fundraising event for Catholic charities — now in its 71st year — traditionally is a time for the candidates to offer jokes about themselves and their opponent.

In front of an exuberant crowd Thursday in Delaware, Ohio, Donald Trump again addressed whether he would accept the outcome of the November election.

"Ladies and gentleman I want to make a major announcement today," Trump said, continuing, "I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters, and to all of the people of the United States, that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election ..."

Kalena Bowler remembers exactly where she was during Barack Obama's first presidential inauguration: at work. "I was the only Black person in the entire pre-production room."

While we've been slogging through what feels like the most contentious presidential election in decades, Canada seems to have been dancing on air, still caught up in the glow of a relatively new prime minister who has been compared to a Disney prince.

We on the other hand, are living through a point in the campaign where cable news might have to be censored for small children.

In professor Jerome Hunt's American politics class last month at the University of the District of Columbia, there were many questions: Could whoever wins the election serve a second term, given Donald Trump's and Hillary Clinton's low favorability numbers? What will the Republican Party look like years from now, after the Trump phenomenon has its full effect? What will happen to the Supreme Court?

One could see the return of Saturday Night Live this weekend as the perfect remedy after our summer of discontent. After birtherism, and deplorables, and tax returns and emails, and rumors of affairs and and videos and body doubles, we could all use a laugh.

As such, expectations were high for the show Saturday night, after being away for months, and returning only a few days after the most-viewed presidential debate in modern history.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.


Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit