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SNL’s Fred Armisen Returns To The Snob’s Bad Side

1) The biggest crime here is that this is a craptastic impression of New York’s governor. I mean, really, he doesn’t sound shit like David Paterson. Fred Armisen is officially just screwing with me now.

2) And is he really going to play every non-fat, notorious black man? Because he sincerely isn’t good at it. Really. Darrell Hammond, a white man, does an outstanding Jesse Jackson impression despite the handicap of not being an actual black man. Almost makes me forget how annoyed I am over SNL not employing any black people. That’s how good it is. Almost.

So what is your DEAL, Fred? Why are your black people so lame? I thought we were getting somewhere with the last Obama “Cool” sketch. I really thought you were improving. And now this abomination.

3) It goes without saying that Lorne Michael’s needs to DIVERSIFY his staff, but … whatever. We all know SNL isn’t Mad TV and when they do hire any minorities they don’t know what to do with them, and by “minorities” I mean the occasional black person, half black person, Latino and whatever Fred Armisen is (I believe he’s part Lebanese). Asians Bobby Lee and Aasif Manvi need not apply.

If they’re not going to take the integrated world seriously I don’t know why they just won’t make the whole show Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg. Or just Andy Samberg. Or just this digital skit here, shown in a loop for perpetuity. (I also love this one, and this one, and this holiday themed one and especially this one.)

4) New Jersey bashing: The one liners and put downs were funny, but, once again, what did that have to do with David Paterson?

5) Gov. Paterson has a lot of funny things about him that are fair game (some of which he, himself, has made fun of). While the Mr. Magoo shit Armisen did was in poor taste, I wasn’t surprised because this is comedy. Mocking the blind gets cheap laughs. But the real thing that annoyed me was how they made it seem like Paterson couldn’t do his job. No one as far as I’ve heard or read has ever said Paterson was unprepared to take on the job. Both Democrats and Republicans and Illinois were pretty happy to see him take the post because Paterson is considered to be highly intelligent, self-deprecating and pragmatic. Alluding that he’s incompetent to do his job even though he was dully elected as the replacement for former New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer, made no sense.

Much like how Armisen’s original portrayal of Barack as a clueless neophyte didn’t make any sense based on who Obama is and how he actually carries himself. But maybe this is the default here. All black politicians are comically unprepared even if they are not in real life. Insert joke.

Hardy, har-har! Lame, SNL! Lame, Fred Armisen! LAME!!!

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21 thoughts on “SNL’s Fred Armisen Returns To The Snob’s Bad Side

  1. Thank you. I thought Fred’s now consistent depiction of every black man that ever lived had become kind of cringeworthy myself.White people stopped doing minstrel shows because they were creeping themselves out–not to mention, us.

  2. Shoot me, but I thought Armisen’s Governor Paterson was pretty funny. Definitely funnier than his Barack, which is still lousy.Paterson is legally blind, but can see most objects up close (like that mistress), so this was the usual “exagerration of quirks/flaws” for comedic effect. Even Darrell Hammond’s Jesse Jackson impersonation (which IS good) is over the top with the wide eyes and flinching.You are totally on point about the show’s lack of color though. They simply don’t care and keep hiring all these reportory players with little comedic talent. Kristen Wiig is actually very good, but the rest of the cast (Keenan included) sucks royally.Now that MadTV is gone, I wonder if they’ll mine that show for talent. Bobby Lee is a bit on the Asian Coon side, but he’s usually funny. Nicole Parker is even funnier than Wiig. Keegan Michael Key’s Obama is better than SNL’s. Why not put these folks to work?Of course, it’ll never happen, who are we kidding? Lorne Michaels still has some post-Murphy beef. A person of color will never again be more than a bit player on that show.

  3. Lorne Michaels has never been about “diversity.” He never has ahd to be. Besides, the last thing he wants is for one minority cast member to “take over,” a la Eddie Murphy, nor does he want another Chris Rock, who talent he wasted. He just wants lame folk like Kenan, or Tim Meadows or that fool Finesse Mitchell. Only black people are complaining, and neither Barack nor Patterson have shown any proclivity to use a bully pulpit against buffonery (Barack’s list so far includes one bully pulpit item: the BCS “system” in college football), so why should Michaels care?

  4. AverageBro: I thought the skit had its moments, I just thought Armisen sounded ridiculous and went more for cheap laughs and less for Paterson-based humor (save the sight impaired jokes which are, obviously, related to him). But maybe I just hate Armisen. Like, I hate his Nicholas Fain character and some others that he does. He ANNOYS THE SHIZZ out of me. It’s not that he’s incapable of being funny. Sometimes he is hilarious. But then he does this and I’m wondering what someone else would have done with the material, or if they’d just adjusted a few things to make the parody more apt.

  5. christopher: And that’s why I suggested he should just make it all Andy Samberg and Kristin Wiig. I mean, Wes Anderson and Tim Burton usually aren’t bothered to put black people anywhere near their films in any sort of realistic way (unless you count the abuse heaped on Danny Glover in “The Royal Tannebaums”), but I enjoy their films anyway because they’re usually good.I say to Lorne, just stop half-ass trying. Go whole-ass in the other direction, pretend like you don’t know nothin’ bout no Negroes and donate money to random causes to cover your ass when people accuse you of racism. At least the show will be funny.

  6. Oh, hell yeah, they need to take employing black folks more seriously on SNL. And Armisen’s Obama sucks. But that Dave Paterson skit was hysterical… insensitive, mean, a stretch of the truth, and hysterical. I think they call those parodies. Which is what SNL does.

  7. Am I the only one who saw David Paterson’s speech when he accepted the Governor’s position? He was cracking jokes right and left, and very much in the style parodied by Armisen.And I think he looks like Paterson, too. Go ahead and stone me.

  8. starrie says:

    um, yeah…snl hasn’t been funny since the days of eddie murphy…that was nearly 30 years ago. it’s pretty clear, if lorne can’t find a funny black cast member in all that time, then he’s not looking for find a funny black cast member..

  9. SnobYou have to find something else to do on Saturday. If you’re watching shows you do not like you’re the problem not the fakirs you’ve already identified. If you’re recording it stop and let someone else tell you if it’s good which is a better strategy as you can put the mystery back into your life.

  10. Robert M: 1) A good 75 percent of my blog is me complaining about things. From my loving grandmother’s dating tips to Fred Armisen’s sometimes shitty impersonations. Crappy things are essential to the health of this blog. Without it you’d be subjected to nothing but posts about boys I think are cute, what Michelle Obama is wearing, Glitter n’ Chuckles updates, me going on and on about comic books, Sci-Fi films and other nerd crap, indie rock and some more boys who I think are cute.You honestly don’t want to read that blog. Not the “OMG! TJ-Holmes-is-soooo-hot … Did-you-see-the-trailer-for-Watchmen-that-looks-awesome … I-lurve-Rilo-Kiley” blog.2) A majority of SNL skits are on-line which is where I watch a lot of them. And I’ve never said that I hated SNL. (This post is pretty much about me hating Fred Armisen doing bad impressions of black politicians, to be specific.) If you noticed, I mentioned my undying love for Kristin Wiig and Andy Samberg. So I’m not really among the “I hate SNL” crowd. I’m more of the “I enjoy SNL to some extent and mock the rest of it” crowd. So, I’m not punishing myself in anyway whatsoever. I’m having a ball, per usual.But thank you for caring! 🙂

  11. SN-who?Darlin, NOBODY is watching anymore. Not even on the web. Don’t be fooled by the Pollard-Fey 2008 Respirator that the show depended on.The Pollard does Clinton impressions weren’t more than amusing until the Clinton Palin skit.Amateur Video on YouTube is funnier than SNL.America’s Favorite Videos is funnier than SNL.CSPAN is funnier than SNL.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I didnt see the whole skit but what I saw looked offensive and, more importantly, unfunny. Snob, whassup wit all the interracial dating ads??Are you trying to tell us something??

  13. anonymous 1:58 p.m.: LOL. No advertising agenda there. The ads are generated at random by Google based on keywords in my posts. Soooo … I get random interracial dating and all kinds of Barack Obama stuff ads.

  14. …me going on and on about comic books, Sci-Fi films and other nerd crap, indie rockLove your whole blog, but I would actually love it if you did more of that, as I love all those things, too, and would be curious to know what you are reading, watching, listening to, etc.

  15. Scott says:

    I laughed and thought the impression was quite funny, even if it was in bad taste. I seem to remember that Chevy Chase on SNL made Pres. Ford, who was quite an athlete, look like a bumbling fool. Is the difference in people’s take on this impression b/c Paterson is black or blind or both?

  16. phoenixfemme says:

    Unfortunately, I watched the whole show. Hugh Laurie was the host and I thought he could bring the funny. The stench of SNL unfunny was just too much for his comic talents. The Patterson skit was unfunny and juvenile. You could have seen the same comic imagination on any elementary school playground.The larger issue is going unnoted – white comics are at a loss on how to make jokes about black people that don’t rely on negative stereotypes. Be it Don Rickles’ failed Obama joke on Letterman, Robin Williams’ hyperlameness on Leno, or SNL’s lack of imagination. This is what we have to look forward to for the next eight years.That’s right – I said eight years.aka Bourgietopia

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