The first of three Presidential debates happened last Friday, and while you were all out having a life, my trusty sidekick/girlfriend and I settled in to watch. She passed out about three minutes in, which should tell you something. Seriously, you follow these guys enough, you know exactly what they’re going to say and how they’re going to say it. McCain’s going to come across as experienced yet cranky. Obama’s going to be intracable but pleasant. McCain’s going to be too mean. Obama’s going to be too nice. And so on and so forth.
Suffice to say, the SNL sketch they did the next night wasn’t one of the better debate sketches. Darrell Hammond’s McCain summed it up near the end, when he basically deivered a joke where the punch line was “you know what? I honeslty don’t care anymore.” Fred Armisen’s doing his best with Obama, but there’s not a lot there to make fun of. It’s not because he’s black, or “better than us mere mortals,” or anything like that – it’s because Obama, as the first Presidential candidate to come of age in a post-Watergate/SNL world, is self-conscious enough to avoid doing or saying anything really silly. In this case, a not-particularly-succesful joke about how Obama wanted to give tax cuts to Tony Rezko elicited applause, simply because Armisen had finally found something to make fun of Obama about.
If they really want to do something with their “Barack Obama” character, they should throw him into a fish-out-of-water scenario, and see what happens. The real life Obama caused some chuckles early on by bowling (poorly) and appearing on SNL as himself, making fun of his own straight-forward, straight-laced attitude. Let’s see how “Barack Obama” reacts to a rodeo, or a strip club, or a Passover seder.
Another thing I noticed during the real debate that they could have made fun of was McCain’s constant barrage of half-truths about Obama, and Obama’s constant barrage of interrupting “no, no, no, JOHN, you – that’s not- no, that’s not true,” which caused McCain to talk louder, at first, and then drop out passive aggressively. To me, that’s the obvious joke – McCain’s a big liar and Obama’s really eager to prove him wrong.
I don’t know – I’m not writing for SNL. Whatever.
Hey, look – someone’s posted Jennifer Slept Here on YouTube!