Obamarama, PopCulturalist

The Rock Obama (Success or FAIL)

From last night’s SNL.

Personally, I think this could have been A LOT funnier. The notion of Barack turning into “The Rock” in the ultimate celebrity mash-up had promise, but this left me a tad flat. Which is sad, because Dwayne Johnson and Barack Obama actually have a lot in common. Both are half black people, raised in Hawaii with Johnson being half-Polynesian and Barack having Asian/Polynesian friends and relatives. They both have a friendly, laid-back vibe going for them. They’re both charming. And Dwayne is incredibly good looking in an “over-the-top,” borderline ridiculous way. (Barack is also good looking, but in a normal, regular guy way.) But the writing seemed like a massive fail to me, missing on what could have been golden parody manna from heaven.

But I’m not sure yet what I would have done differently with “The Rock.”

How did you see it? Was it a success to you or another case of “SNL? Comedy? U’re doin’ it wrong!”

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35 thoughts on “The Rock Obama (Success or FAIL)

  1. dukedraven says:

    I laughed at it, if only from the potential of it being a really funny bit. It had all the elements of good comedy, and somehow, they couldn’t pull it off. Had Dan Ackroyd or Phil Hartman in their prime performed the skit, it would have been an instant classic. It coulda been worse.

  2. Jonezy says:

    It was funny until he start talking in "Tarzan" speak. I didn’t understand why his vocabulary was dumbed down? Also they played it safe, he should have thrown Mccain out the window too lol ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Danielle Belton says:

    @ JonezyI think it was supposed to be "Hulk" speak. Like "Hulk SMASH! Hulk MAD!" As The Incredible Hulk wasn’t known for his great vocabulary. But it did get all Tarzan because the Hulk would never say that many words. It was just odd. I honestly couldn’t put my finger on wasn’t quite right, although I’m always for Dwayne Johnson ripping out of a shirt. I’ll never turn that down.

  4. daphne says:

    although I’m always for Dwayne Johnson ripping out of a shirt. I’ll never turn that down.Co-sign! If he was completely shirtless, I wouldn’t have cared what he said, so it’s probably for the best that he wasn’t. Lord have mercy, his tattoos are gorgeous. Andy Samberg made me chuckle. Is it wrong that I find him attractive, despite the awful haircut? Well, I do, and I’m okay with that.

  5. NAGROM says:

    Wow, I thought it was funny, but the thing that was missing was a little more substance or dialogue. I think that SNL tried to keep it light-hearted.

  6. Danielle Belton says:

    @ daphneI’m not a big tattoo person, but Dwayne’s tribal tattoos are hot. Perhaps because they actually have some significance as opposed to the random entertainer who just gets them for fadish/gawdy reasons and they look quite beautiful.And Andy is cute, even in that horrible Rahm wig (that never looks right. It’s too "blondish" when it should be more silver/gray).@ NAGROMI just think it could have been side-splitting funnier, but, as I said, I don’t exactly know how I’d fix it or what was missing for me. All the right elements were there for sure.

  7. Snob:I don’t really watch SNL anymore since the election. I’m tired of seeing Kristin Wiig and bill Heder over exposed in these dumbass geek/Judd Aptow flicks. I’m tired of Keenan Thompson. I thinkt they should hire Keegan Micheal Key and Jordan Peete from the defunct Mad TV (indeed Nicole Parker as well). It just isn’t funny no more…Since you appear to be a bit of a geek despite yourself, here’s a rumor passed onto me by a friend of my book agent’s: Will Smith, hoping to cash in on the seemingly endless stock of comic book/superhero/old TV show train, is marshalling resources to produce "The Adventures of Jonny Quest" w/his son as Jonny and he hopes George Clooney as "Race" Bannon. Will try to get some corroboration for you…

  8. Layo G says:

    fell flat, and no it did not have ANY potential, this scenario and the idea behind it was also a big fat ZERO fornow their Michael Steele skit from the same episode was funny!!!

  9. dukedraven says:

    Sorry, I just wanted to add that I still liked the skit. I also wished the Rock Obama threw McCain out the window. He deserved it.

  10. Danielle Belton says:

    @ ChrisI heard about Will trying to get Jonny Quest (as well as Karate Kid), in both cases for him or his son in some capacity. I think in both cases that’s all kind of nutters (especially Karate Kid, his son who acts is waaaay too young unless they’re making "Karate Kid Babies" or something).I never cared for Jonny Quest. (I’m waiting for someone to buy the rights Robotech and make a live action, R-Rated version of it. I’m sure someone already has, but is sitting on it.) If Smith is just buying up the rights to sit on it until Tre is old enough, great, I guess. But I don’t know who’s clamoring for a friggin’ Jonny Quest film. I mean, I’m sure SOME fanboy is. But some fanboy would also like it if someone would fix Howard the Duck. I dunno. There has to be another "kid" adventure film that makes more sense for Will’s son, but I guess Jonny Quest at least comes close if Robert Rodriguez isn’t going to make any more spy child based features.I also feel like Will is trying to force the world to love his kid and his kid is pretty damn adorable, but I don’t appreciate being force fed him. I mean, he hasn’t started pimping him out Walt Disney-style (thank God), but sometimes I wonder where he’s going with this.

  11. mcmana says:

    It was funny. The rock who can resist that . I agree it needed better dialogue. Perhaps who should havecrush a certain senator.

  12. SouthlandDiva says:

    I haven’t watched SNL in goodness knows how many years….but, if SNL would devote an entire season to various and sundry skits where Dewayne takes off his shirt off for no good reason I promise I’ll become a devoted fangirl! ๐Ÿ™‚ (Just kidding…kinda) Why can’t Hollywood come up with something orignal………..whoa, full stop — that was going to be a pointless rant.Peace

  13. moja31 says:

    the rock does a better obama impression than fred armisen, but the tarzan grunt speak took it from funny to stupid pretty quickly.

  14. NAGROM says:

    LOL, at the conservative bumper-sticker ad with President Obama’s little logo, SOCIALISM! LOL! They can’t be serious? Tell me they’re not serious?

  15. rikyrah says:

    Johnny Quest? Will, say-it-ain’t-so. Blech. I agree with you Snob about Will being a Stage Parent. He needs to stop and let the kid grow up.

  16. TBI says:

    The skit wasn’t too bad. I did chuckle a few times through it, so I don’t really want to call it an "EPIC FAIL". Yet, it wasn’t a success either, even w/ the Dwayne Johnson in it (who, might I add, is a pretty cool guy if you ever meet him in person). But then again, it is SNL; I can’t even remember the last time I really laughed at any of the SNL material that weren’t Andy Samberg shorts.SNL jumped the shark long ago. After watching this video, I realized that I’d rather watch stuff like this on the internet than sit through a full show.

  17. TBI says:

    Sorry for the double post but a Johnny Quest movie? What does the Church of Scientology got Will smokin’ (and where can I get some)?

  18. I’m glad you posted it. Its a good play on Obama’s not getting too stressed. I thought it could have been funnier, but it did make me laugh.

  19. the other difference between the two is that Dwayne Johnson is a Republican and Obama a Democrat. So i’m sure he would never have thrown McCain out the window and yes, they were serious about the socialist bumper sticker. *grin*

  20. NewCenturyWoman says:

    I had read on other blogs that the SNL video featuring Johnson as the "angry Obama" was funny. I didn’t look at it, though, until you posted it here. After viewing it, I must say that I am not impressed. Although Dwayne looks great as Obama, the video just falls flat. Even the guy playing Rhamm Emmanuel comes across as phony in that video to me. BTW, SNL needs to really ditch Fred Armisen, the regular who plays Obama. He is god-awful AWFUL in all of the skits in which he attempts to imitate our president. (He did, however, do a good job when he played the blind governor of NY.) Another bad thing about that video: How can the character playing Rhamm Emmanuel be taller than the guy playing Obama? Rhamm is a midget while Obama is 6’2".

  21. edwina says:

    E for effort, at least Dwayne has charisma that is equal to Obama. Fred may be occasionally funny (I’m being generous), but he scores low to non-existent on the charisma categroy.Totally LOL’d at the Michael Steele skit. Like snob, starting to feel a little sorry for the guy because he’s been so emasculated.All in all, SNL continues to be one sorry ass show during a time where we all could use some jucks.

  22. Erika M says:

    I thought the Rock’s impression of Obama was pretty good; I would agree with one of the other posters that it’s better than Armisen’s impression. Didn’t really find it all that funny though. Alphacat (on youtube) should really be getting more play on a show like SNL, I bet Armisen wouldn’t be willing to give up the Obama skits though.

  23. lamh31 says:

    Dwayne "the Rock: Johnson is a Republican. I didn’t know that, but I’ve heard Denzel is a Republican too, so whatevs

  24. Anthony Nurse says:

    I thought it was funny when I saw it initially. Upon further review, it could have been much funnier.It suffers from what most SNL skits suffer from; small minded writing. The premise of Obama having an alter ego could go in so many ways; Rock Obama as a socialist, hitting DC strip clubs with Bill Clinton, getting the smackdown from Michelle to revert him to Barack. In the hands of the current writing staff, it turns to throwing senators out of the window. Sad.

  25. I’d read a few things about this sketch and I thought it was funnier than I had originally thought it would be. It was a great idea "The Rock Obama" (that’s funny) Take what you can get from SNL’s execution.

  26. MJ says:

    DJ is not a Republican. He’s registered as an Independent and didn’t make up his mind until the day before election. The decision was for Bush. We all make mistakes.

  27. Archgemini24 says:

    I saw the skit and thought that they could have done a bit more with it, but it was still worth the watch and I got a good laugh out of it. I definitely could get behind the idea of Obama having a "not-so-nice" side and just Hulking-up on someone.

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