Over the weekend, “Saturday Night Live” had originally planned to run a cold open featuring Fred Armisen’s President Obama that basically lampooned Obama’s supposed exploitation of the killing of Bin Laden.
“This is a special time of year,” Obama says, “when we gather together with family and friends to commemorate the shooting of this terrorist, and the gutsy decision that made it possible.”
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to be at home this year, as I had to fly to Afghanistan, to remind President Karzai that, exactly one year ago, we killed Osama bin Laden and that the decision to do so was a gutsy one — and was mine.”
The skit ultimately was cut in favor of the Fox & Friends sketch, which basically (rightfully) makes fun of Fox News for being dumb, biased, and racist. Naturally, the conservative media — everyone from the National Review to the folks over at Breitbart — is throwing a hissy fit, claiming that “Saturday Night Live” won’t attack Obama during an election year because of the show’s own political biases. Lorne Michaels, however, shot back, asserting that “It wasn’t its politics. It was about the comedy. The show’s many things, but partisan it is not.”
Michaels is part right. I have no doubt it was cut because it wasn’t as funny as the “Fox and Friends” skit because the “Fox and Friends” skit was funny, and Fred Armisen’s impression of Barack Obama almost never is. But the idea that “Saturday Night Live” is not even an eensy bit bias in favor of the liberals is, well, horsesh*t.
Past cast members like Dennis Miller, Victoria Jackson, and apparently Jon Lovitz notwithstanding, the cast of “SNL” typically swings liberal. Liberals have an easier time making fun of conservatives because they believe it, ergo the natural inclination is to poke fun at conservatives instead of making fun of themselves because self-deprecation typically doesn’t work in satire because there’s just too many layers for our small brains to process. It helps that conservatives tend to be easy targets because liberals tend to think that conservatives are hilariously crazy while conservatives tend to think that liberals are dangerously oppressive (the irony is rich, I know). Hilariously crazy is funnier than dangerously oppressive every time.
So why did Lorne Michaels choose the Fox and Friends skit instead of the Obama skit? Because he thought it was funnier. Why did he think it was funnier? Because he’s a liberal. Ask a conservative, and I guarandamntee you that he would find the Obama skit funnier, even if Fred Armisen is the worst Obama impersonator on the planet.
And that, folks, is the very long-winded way of saying: “Saturday Night Live” is not partisan? My ass!