I almost went to bed without watching it, but I decided to catch SNL last night to see what they would do with their usual political sketch at the start, but the writer’s must have went on strike again because it was like watching reruns.
I’m not going repeat why Fred Armisen’s Obama bugs me on a multitude of levels. But this sketch was just flat out lazy writing.
I get it, SNL. Obama is hard to make fun of, but your logic seems to be fatally flawed. You take the most natural and charming of politicians and turn him into a robotic parrot a la Al Gore circa 2000? And sure, sometimes the press can be a huge dick to Hillary but I don’t recall a racially tinged bomb the size of Farrakhan being lobbed at her during that latest debate they spoofed. Tim Russert didn’t exactly lick Obama to death with the tongues of kittens. To be forced to account for the anti-semite from the Million Man March who’s been out of the limelight for nearly two decades is pretty jack assy.
I’d like Timmy to account for when he decided “Meet the Press” was about him playing gotcha for 45 minutes. But let’s put that aside and deal with the fact that SNL has turn into the comedic version of FOX News were you are so obviously in the tank for one candidate and one candidate alone. I realize I shouldn’t expect parity from my political comedy, but I also expect some funny. SNL has delivered on nada. My favorite satirical show, “The Daily Show,” has found ways to poke fun at both Hillary and Obama. Granted, they don’t have some pale dude in “Obama-face,” but they manage to get along fine.
I’m aware that pre-strike, SNL did skits joking about the press already picking Hillary as the nominee. But these skits weren’t very good either. A matter of fact the only skit with Hillary in it that got to the core of the Clintons’ White House lust was an opener where Hillary discusses her inevitability to the point that it’s absurd with her talking about her reelection in 2012 and the possible repealing of the federal law that only allows presidents to have two terms.
It was the one and only time Amy Poehler’s Hillary was funny, because I don’t care what anyone thinks, Poehler’s Hillary Clinton is almost as bad as Armisen’s Obama, and Armisen’s Obama is abysmal.
I get it SNL writers. You think Hillary’s getting a raw deal by the press. But her last name is Clinton? Did we expect anything less than 24-hour-Clinton-Watch? When she was succeeding the media stared on in wonderment, proclaiming that no one would be able to stop her. Then Obama cold-cocked the Clinton’s in Iowa and later South Carolina and the media obsessed over where Clinton went wrong.
The press chatter about Obama too, but they don’t go into as much depth and tend to just write him off with, “he’s an inspiring black guy who gives good speeches who’s winning the black vote. He’s from Illinois and he hasn’t been in the senate very long and his minster is some kind of black radical. Isn’t that weird? And by the way, did you notice that Obama is black? No? Because I totally didn’t notice because I’m the mainstream media and I don’t see color except when Farrakhan is involved.”
Other than that, the press has been all Hillary all the time. She sniffles once and it’s news. She complains about bias and it’s a headline in 50 point type. She’s a media vacuum, she sucks the air and all the common sense out of any room she enters. It’s amazing any candidate, Democratic or Republican, gets any airtime at all. Thank God Bill Clinton rescinded to the shadows otherwise all we’d be hearing is about “BubbaWatch 2008!” What kind of barbecue is he eating? Did he just fart? Someone record that fart, we need to get it to Wolf Blizter to run at the top of the hour of the Situation Room!
But back to you, Saturday Night Live, Amy Poehler and Fred Armisen, Seth Myers and Lorne Michaels.
You have a problem. An Obama problem.
That dude isn’t going away. Accept it. So you need to either start turning Darrell Hammond into John McCain or come up with some better material for Armisen’s craptacular Obama. And that cartoon? This “Saturday TV Funhouse” you most recently ran called “The Obama Files?” That was totally not funny. I realize some white people see Jesse n’ Al as racial agitators and attention whores. Heck, a lot of black people have some of the same. But the whole premise was just unseemly and the way Jackson and Sharpton were presented was, quite frankly, racist. The cartoon seemed to tangentially suggest that to win the White House Obama is going to have to distance himself from the black community, our race being the albatross around his neck.
The cartoon would have been funnier if Jesse n’ Al were aware of their toxicity (which in real life they are) and were covertly working with black people yet allowing Obama to still be all things to everyone irregardless of race. But I suppose that would play too heavily to the fears some whites have about a black candidate, that he’s secretly colluding with “extremists” and is going to get up in there, literally, paint the White House black and start deducting half of their paychecks for reparations, a la that Dave Chappelle skit.
So seriously, SNL, you’re going to have to start stepping up your game. I know you’ve been kind of phoning it in for years now and have ceded a good portion of the political comedy ground to the Jon Stewarts and Stephen Colberts of the world, but you’re the granddaddy show so I think it’s time you elevated your game.
Is it really THAT hard to make fun of Obama in a way that’s based on his actually personality, not a bunch of facial ticks and stuttering? Because last time I checked he’s pretty charismatic and does, in fact, smile. A lot. If anything they would have been better playing him as Mr. Too Smooth Can Do No Wrong guy. That’s what was missing in both sketches they’ve done so far. You’d think the media fawning was a fabrication. That they’re responding that way for no particular reason at all.
COME ON! The guy’s a nerd who’s been turned into a motivational speaker/folk hero. He’s Hurricane Carter but without the prison time and Bob Dylan is warbling about hope. Is it that hard? Personality, people! He has a personality! Is Armisten that limited that he can only do two Obama facial expressions then have him appear to be, in fact, a moron? That doesn’t make sense. No one thinks Obama is a moron. George W., now that’s a guy people think is a moron. Hillary’s a megalomaniacal Margaret Thatcher-esque technocrat who wants to dominate the world, Barack Obama is the unflappable, cooler than cool young guy with all the brains but little experience. Follow the meme, people! The meme leads to the funny!
Of course, SNL might not actually care about making Obama funny because they think they can covertly save Hillary’s campaign through moldy n’ trite comedy sketches that make Obama appear the opposite of how he actually is.
MmmKay … Let’s see how that goes. Pray he doesn’t become president, Lorne Michaels. You may never have a funny episode again.