I’m debating whether or not “Saturday Night Live” (I’m old enough to remember when the program’s official name was “NBC Saturday Night”) is worth watching in upcoming weeks. For we could be in store for some of the most ridiculous political sights imaginable.
It appears the program is trying to interject itself into the presidential campaign – whether we want to see it or not.
REMEMBER EARLIER THIS year when Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama complained that the sketch comedy show was favoring primary opponent Hillary R. Clinton? Well now I’m wondering how long until Republican nominee John McCain will start complaining that the show is favoring his opponent.
For Obama is set to be a co-host of the show on Saturday, paired up with Olympic medal winner Michael Phelps. Does this serve as a highlight for Phelps that he gets to appear with a potential president?
Or is it a symbolic blow to Obama that he has to appear with an athlete whose gold medals mean he has already lived the highlight of his life, and can only go downhill from here? Will winning the Democratic nomination for president be the greatest achievement Obama can reach in life?
Now throughout the years, the program has gone out of its way to use political activity in its humor. Chevy Chase is still remembered for his Gerald Ford impressions that weren’t really impressions, and Phil Hartman was the ultimate Bill Clinton impersonator.
AND FOR SOME people, Will Ferrell’s “vapid frat boy” take on George W. Bush is more real than the real thing.
That’s why I think it kind of sad that the show has done a terrible job of coming up with a Barack Obama impersonator. The guy they have had doing it in recent weeks doesn’t seem to have a handle on his target. In fact, the big gag behind his routines appears to be that he is a white guy impersonating a bi-racial man.
So could Obama wind up doing himself on the show when he appears? It wouldn’t be the most ridiculous thing. Former presidential press secretary Ron Nessen played himself in a sketch where Chase’s President Ford stapled himself and knocked over a U.S. flag.
There’s even the potential for some humor in the fact that one-time Saturday Night Live writer and performer Tina Fey is being asked to consider coming back to the show for a few weeks to be a Sarah Palin impersonator.
SOME PEOPLE THINK the two look a lot alike.
I say some because I don’t see the resemblance, unless we want to think that Fey (a one-time member of the Second City comedy troupe here in Chicago) looks like every single woman with glasses.
Will she smear herself with lipstick to get into character? Or have I just libeled the reputation of the Republican vice presidential running mate by bringing up the “L” word?
Could we literally be treated to the sight of Obama as himself beating up on Fey as Palin? Or will the star of “30 Rock” wind up whomping on Obama - perhaps even giving him a lipstick pasting? It could wind up being one of the most surreal sights ever seen in American politics.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Saturday Night Live is trying to bolster its own ratings by playing off the great public interest in this year’s presidential election, the same interest that (http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/2008/09/12/SNL_wants_Fey_to_play_Palin/UPI-82521221231642/) resulted in record-high television ratings for the broadcasts of the nominating convention speeches given by both Barack Obama and Sarah Palin.