The Saturday Night Live primetime election specials will make a comeback -- whose momentum will it ruin this year?


29 Responses to “The Saturday Night Live primetime election specials will make a comeback -- whose momentum will it ruin this year?”

  1. awjt says:

    The premiere of the 1965 SNL season was AWESOME.  It was basically a re-run of Leave It To Beaver for about 30 minutes, followed by some news, and then it was this hilarious thingy with lots of black circles and shapes on it, for like, another hour.  I couldn’t stop watching!

  2. 1985-1965?  Robert Downey Jr. Was a cast member on SNL? Is this last paragraph confusing anyone else, or am I just being stupid?

    • BDiamond says:

       It’s an obvious typo in the last paragraph. RD, Jr., was indeed a part of the SNL cast from 1985-1986.

      • oh, ok- I thought they were referring to RD Jr.- Man, I was confused- and I also didn’t know Sr was part of the cast, so it may have been obvious to you, but not me, because I’m culturally deficient.
        Thanks for clearing it up for me though!

        • Tommy Timefishblue says:

          No, Robert Downey Jr., the one in Iron Man, was on SNL for real. Look it up.

          • It’s true.  I don’t remember anything he did on the show except for a sketch about a bunch of models crash landing on a desert island; he played a male model.  Don’t know what that’s the sketch of his that sticks with me, lol … 

    • mccrum says:

       That cast also had Anthony Michael Hall (17 years old at the time) and Joan Cusack.  Strange days.

    • SedanChair says:

      He sniffed so much coke that he fell into a wormhole and came out in 1965, promptly giving man-birth to himself.

      Robert Downey Jr. is the ouroboros

  3. EMF says:

    Maybe it will ruin Boing Boing’s momentum.

  4. Kelly M says:

    I doubt the premise of the OP.  Palin worked because Fey is a rare talent and also, serendiptously (sp?) Fey has a strong resemblance.  Plus… Palin is a bit of an easy target.

    I’ve not seen anything w/ what they’ve done w/ Obama/Biden/Romney that makes me think it’ll be nearly as funny as Fey/Palin.  In fact the current political stuff has been brutal, painful at times.   Armisen is great on Portlandia, but his Obama is terrible/boring.

  5. Warren_Terra says:

    I don’t buy the thesis here. Palin became a laughingstock on her own merits – by telling Katie Couric “all of them” when asked what newspapers she read, for example. Tina Fey may have helped to solidify the image, but only because it was there in the first place – and while many people may have been awakened to Palin’s idiocy by Fey’s exaggerations, others were freed to dismiss the truth of Palin’s idiocy because so often the “evidence” that they could see for such a proposition was not her own genuine appalling statements but the parodies of them seen on SNL. 

    Thus: Palin’s comments about Russia were terrifying in their ignorance, their misrepresentations, and their falsehoods, but what everyone remembers is Tina Fey as Palin saying she can “see Russia from [her] house”. In effect, rather than learning that Palin is an idiot you learn that Tina Fey thinks she is one. Which is fine – if you’re inclined to trust Tina Fey. But trusting the judgment of a television comedian trying to sell car ads on behalf of GE is a terrible way to make your decisions, however worthy Ms. Fey seems to be.

    • EH says:

      In effect, rather than learning that Palin is an idiot you learn that Tina Fey thinks she is one.

      What kind of idiots do you think we are?

  6. Chuck says:

    I’m going to make a bold prediction that SNL will focus their ridicule exclusively on Romney and give Obama a complete pass.

    • penguinchris says:

      SNL is not exactly known for cutting political satire, which would be required to do any justice to lambasting Obama. There’s a lot wrong with Obama, but nothing obvious and easy to satirize. 

      Romney is an easy target, but not an easy target for SNL. They can easily make fun of his being out of touch, but that’s about it. They’re not going to touch his being Mormon, for example, and his easily-attackable policy positions are not funny, they’re depressing and rage-inducing.

      As others have said already, Palin was a ridiculously easy target. I thought Tina Fey’s Palin impersonation was funny but nobody changed their mind about Palin because of it. I mean, we’re in our own little bubble here at BB but Palin really did not need Tina Fey to point out how much of an idiot she is because she was doing that herself.

      Which leads to another point… in what world is SNL relevant to the world of politics? They’ve always done impersonations of the presidents and so on, and with a liberal bias of course, but it’s always very light. No bite. The Daily Show and Colbert Report are comedy shows that have a real effect on people’s opinions and on politics at large. 

      SNL is something you occasionally watch clips from on the internet if they do something particularly good (I enjoyed all the music videos Andy Samberg did with Justin Timberlake and others), and nobody cares about SNL’s political opinions. 

    • EH says:

      Yeah, history tells us, right?

    • Navin_Johnson says:

       What would make good comedy regarding Obama?  I’m just curious, because personality wise he’s kind of boring, and Armisen doesn’t really have him down unfortunately.  I mean you could mock him for being an empty suit, and crumpling after all his “Change” talk, but he just doesn’t seem like good comedy fodder personality wise.  Biden is obviously more suited for it, Romney kind of has his rich, preppy villain, straight out of central casting thing going on at least.  The main thing is that it doesn’t really work as well unless the actor nails it, which is why Darrell Hammond was so great as Clinton, Ferrell as Bush etc.

  7. milkman says:

    I hope it ruins everyone’s momentum causing us to reject the position of presidency and thus laying off all federal/state political figures.  I’d like to stop packing for my future move to Iceland where they actually arrest corruption.

    Grumpy old man rant – terminated – But seriously, I don’t see any way that a Rep. wins this year – SNL or not… even if they put together a Jesus and Santa ticket.

  8. millie fink says:

    Oh, is SNL still on? And people actually watch it??

    I do remember thinking Fey’s skewering impression was spot on, but I don’t recall a thing from the show since then.

    I also agree with other posters that Palin popped her own balloon as much or more than Fey did.

  9. Doug Flint says:

    Oh man, I do SO hope the Republicans run a Jesus & Santa ticket!

  10. Deidzoeb says:

    I’m skeptical that SNL was that influential at revealing Palin’s emptiness. Even Katie Couric’s questions were too hard for her to give intelligible responses. She didn’t need softball questions, she needed T-ball questions. Journalists trying to be artificially “balanced” couldn’t hide Palin’s garbled answers.

  11. Yeti Dad says:

    Obviously, Robert Downey Jr. is a time-traveler who began his run on the show in 1985 and finished it twenty years earlier. That’s probably also how he goes back and forth from the modern world to Victorian England to perform in the Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes movies. 

  12. Just Good Sense says:

    Hey, look at me! I get to be pedantic! It was not “the SNLspecials four years ago that shed a different kind of spotlight on then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.” The 2008 specials were basically extended Weekend Updates, produced because the Palin parodies had gotten so popular. Tina Fey only appeared in the third one. All the other Palin segments were cold opens for regular SNL episodes. You can check the transcripts here: .


  13. Teller says:

    Neither Mitt nor Obama. The C of the LDS will take the biggest hit because propping requires only a white shirt and black tie and not much thought.

  14. Frevele writes “Romney [should show up] if he wants to convince potential voters that he isn’t the uppity white bread caricature that Sudeikis has turned him into.”

    Correction: it isn’t Sudeikis who has turned Romney into his caricature. Willard, and Willard alone, is responsible for that outcome.

    I advise Mittens not to show up. He cannot lose if he does not play.

  15. Pedantic Douchebag says:

    And who is going to come out of this looking worse?

    I’m gonna go with Fred Armisen in blackface and Lorne Michaels.

  16. I don’t know who it will ruin, but if Biden is on the ticket, it could make him look even more awesome. Throw Sudeikis a Bud Light and a couple bleeps, and voila! You have a cult pop culture hero!

  17. Cliff Hesby says:

    I’m just bummed that Phil Hartman isn’t alive to knock a Mitt Romney impression out of the park.

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