Hillary Rodham Clinton took a break from the campaign trail to thank "Saturday Night Live" for giving her candidacy a boost — although she failed to get an official endorsement from the show.
Clinton's campaign has gotten a good deal of mileage out of an "SNL" sketch from a week ago in which reporters fawned over her rival, Barack Obama. Clinton brought up the sketch during last Tuesday's debate between the two candidates, and the campaign has encouraged supporters and voters to watch it on NBC's Web site.
This weekend's episode opened with a similar sketch recreating Tuesday's debate. It portrayed NBC anchors Brian Williams and Tim Russert asking Clinton, played by Amy Poehler, tough questions while serving softballs to Obama.
Then the real Clinton appeared onscreen with an "editorial response."
The sketch, she said, "wasn't an endorsement of one candidate over another. I can say this confidently because when I asked if I could take it as an endorsement, I was told, 'Absolutely not.' But I still enjoyed that sketch a great deal because I simply adore Amy's impression of me."
When Poehler asked her how the campaign was going, Clinton responded: "The campaign is going very well. Very, very well. Why, what have you heard?"
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who dropped out of the Republican presidential race in January, appeared later on the "Weekend Update" segment. Giuliani blamed his campaign's failure on a 1997 episode of the show, in which he dressed in drag for one sketch.
It was the third consecutive "SNL" episode featuring a presidential contender. Republican candidate Mike Huckabee appeared on "Weekend Update" last week. On a November episode of "SNL," the last before the Writers Guild of America strike, Obama played himself as a guest at a party thrown by Hillary and Bill Clinton.
The music on this weekend's episode was performed by Wilco, a Chicago-based band that performed at a fundraiser for Obama in December.
Clinton is scheduled to appear on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" on Monday. Last Thursday, she was featured in a brief comedy segment on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman."
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