Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Get An Angle

Over the past few weeks, SNL has had a cold open featuring Obama and Biden, another with Pelosi and Reid, and another with a bunch of Republican representatives. So they've run the political gamut. But what they all had in common was they were lame. Bad premises and weak gags.

I don't kow if it's just bad luck, or they've been thrown for a loop by a new President. Bush 41, Clinton and Bush 43 as popular SNL characters didn't happen overnight. As I've noted, they've already got Biden down. Here's hoping they figure out how to properly caricature Obama, and the rest then falls into place.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sooner or later they'll figure out (or adjust to since I assume everyone has figured this out) that politics are not funny but personalities are. No matter how compelling a political drama, but the battles with Congress over a stimulus bill and the economy etc.... its certainly not the same sort of watchable theater as the election was.

One of things I've always liked about the Simpsons, is that in their episodes depicting history a short time ago (say 5-20 years), they depict characters up in arms about raging political issues of the day and seeming all the more ridiculous for it. NEG

4:50 AM, February 17, 2009  
Blogger LAGuy said...

SNL can do completely topical satire--that's the point of them being live. The Simpsons have a huge lead time--six months at least?--so they don't really do topical. (South Park is done cheaply enough so that they can comment on matters of that week. Family Guy now and does a topical insert--the Christian Bale tape, or comparing McCain to Hitler--but by and large has the same rules as The Simpsons.)

9:26 AM, February 17, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama's easy to make fun of. They just like him too much to do it right. I'm not saying it's conscious. It's just that if they really cut him, it feels bad to them, so they draw back.

9:30 AM, February 17, 2009  
Blogger New England Guy said...

I think Anon 2 has a point- in order to be funny, there is always an edge toward giving someone his/her comeuppance. However I don't think they are holding back- I think they just have nothing to hold. When Obama does get it from them, it will probably be for sanctimony (and after they get away from Fred Armisen's male model routine)

Also I think my point above in Anon1 before the words got tangled and re-arranged in the word processing was that making fun of topical political issues is not very funny and I thought the Simpsons were riffing on that when they refer back to old topical stuff of the past. Ten or twenty years from now, on the "best of" shows, we'll probably see all of the Tina Fey/ Sarah Palin and Amy Poehler/ Hillary bits but I doubt we'll ever see anything about the wrangling over the stimulus bill. Not a very deep point, but the one I was trying to make

10:49 AM, February 17, 2009  

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