Sunday, April 18, 2004


It’s become painfully obvious, lately, that SNL is going through a creative dearth. With Will Ferrell, Chris Katan, and Tracy Morgan leaving last year, SNL has been left in the lurch. The apparent cause of this unfunny-ness, in my opinion, has much to do with their lack of political parody— more specifically a good impersonation of the President. SNL’s in house Rich Little, Darrell Hammond, made a valiant, though completely absurd, attempt at a George Bush impersonation—an impersonation they’re in desperate need of. If Darrell Hammond can’t muster a plausible parody of the President, then SNL is clearly in trouble.

I would hope that some intervening force—hopefully a fruitful summer of new comic acquisitions—changes the ensembles' comic fortunes. What made SNL appealing, and kept me in on a Saturday night, was the attention it paid to incisive political satire. Dana Carvey’s George H.W. Bush, Darrell Hammond’s Bill Clinton, and, more recently, Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush have all had an iconic influence in shaping public perceptions of these political figures. However, SNL may not have much time to cultivate a loyal constituency for their version of George W. Bush and John Kerry, since they go on summer hiatus in May, and don’t return until October/November—clearly not enough time to create memorable political parodies before the impending mid-November election.

So now the politically astute and satirically inclined are left to the only other offering of politically ironic comedy: The Daily Show with Jon Stweart. Well, I guess that should do.

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