Thursday, October 9, 2008


With the topic of agenda driven comedy on my mind, I once again bring up the topic of television, something that was originally a product of the worlds of stage and cinema. In this case, stage and cinema are like two first cousins and television is the product of an incestuous union they had back in the 1940s after they had a few beers and promised each other that it wouldn't get past first base.* The mildly retarded result of all this that they named Television usually puts of crap you'd expect someone mildly retarded to put out like Different Strokes or American Idol but occasionally surprises you by showing you something like The Prisoner or Mystery Science Theater 3000.**

One of the best examples of both the best and worst that television has to offer is Saturday Night Live, now entering what I think is its 33rd year. Every time you think this show is dead, something shocks its system and it rides that shock for a few more years. About three or four years ago, the shock came in the form of a video in which Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell rapped about going to see the Narnia movie. This video was one of the first big YouTube hits and, thanks to YouTube, SNL's ratings went way up. NBC thanked YouTube for this by ordering them to remove the video from their servers so that NBC could show it on their website, thus giving YouTube a kick in it virtual nuts from NBC's cyber shoe, but that's a topic for another day.

Currently, the life giving jolt is coming from Tina Fey's impression of Sarah Palin. Her spot-on impression is giving SNL its best ratings in years but it also presented a problem. The skewering they were giving to Sarah Palin was so effective that conservatives complained. This caused Lorne Michaels and the SNL crew to set out on a quest for balance, a quest which has resulted in one lame sketch and one sketch that is so thuddingly unfunny that, if it were water, you would refuse to drink it even if you had just stepped out of the desert. First, the lame one:

If you didn't feel like watching all of that, it's mildly funny except when they have Obama say things like he'll give a tax cut to the Chicago City Council and Tony Rezko and when they make allusions to some sort of affair between Obama and Scarlett Johansson, something I know isn't true because he doesn't have a perpetual smile on his face. It's not just me. The audience lets out what are at the most mild chuckles when these "jokes" are told. Now for the thuddingly unfunny one:

It starts with some promise but in this case the promise is a football, SNL is Lucy and you are Charlie Brown getting the football pulled away from him at the last moment when they start talking about George Soros. The fact that they're talking about subjects like Rezko and George Soros tells me that Lorne Michaels has hired the comments section at to write comedy for him.

To find any of that funny, you have to believe Barack Obama didn't just know the recently convicted Tony Rezko but was also part of his criminal dealings. Also, apparently, you also have to believe that Obama is so powerful and brilliant that he was able to scrub away and and all evidence of his crimes. Most of you probably don't even know who the hell Tony Rezko is and the same probably goes for George Soros. For those of you who don't know, Soros is a billionaire who strongly supports Democrats as well as progressive causes. For this reason, the right wing has for years tried to transform him into some sort of Sith Lord who secretly runs the Democratic Party and that's the image of George Soros you see in this sketch. The problem with this and the reason that none of it is funny is that it's all based on bullshit. The Sarah Palin sketches are funny because Sarah Palin really does say and do dumb things. In fact, some parts of those sketches are actually quoted verbatim from things that Sarah Palin said. On the other hand, Obama has never had any criminal dealings with Tony Rezko and George Soros is not Palpatine to the Democrats' Darth Vader. At least, that's how it is in the real world. In Conservative World, it's all absolutely true.

Ok, just two things left to do. First, I want to predict that, this weekend when SNL does a sketch about Tuesday's debate, they'll have Obama saying nice things about William Ayers. Second, I want to offer some proof that I, too, can laugh at Barack Obama by showing how a real comedy show can intelligently make fun of him.

That sound coming out of your mouth is called laughter. I know it sounds strange after watching those two SNL sketches.

*No, this is not first hand knowledge of how these things go, you pervs.

**Not universal favorites, I know, but they're my two top favorite shows ever.

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