As expected, Saturday Night Live opened this week's episode with politics, specifically Hillary Clinton's increasingly unlikely bid to be the Democratic nominee for President. What was not so expected was that the show and brilliant Clinton impersonator Amy Poehler seemingly picked up a Louisville Slugger and went after the New York Senator who, just a few weeks ago, seemed to have her campaign buoyed by a few sympathetic portrayals on SNL. Clinton even appeared alongside Poehler one night. But after Saturday, it's hard to imagine that again. Do you go back on a show after it has, with no subtlety at all, portrayed you as a sore loser with no personal ethics whose supporters are racists?
After the fun of routines such as the Halloween party, in which Barack Obama actually appeared, the debate sketches and the faux 3 a.m. phone call ad, Poehler blatantly stating to supposed superdelgates that the sore loserness, racists, and lack of ethics are why they should vote for her was a dark and uncreative turn. Yes, some people will find truth in some or all of those points, but we've come to expect more finesse and humor from the crew. This take definitely was not yet ready for prime time.
Later in the show, on Weekend Update, Poehler did have a great line about the increase in the price of stamps from 41 cents to 42 cents: "'Aw, that's cute,' said oil." And Louisville's My Morning Jacket had a fantastic appearance, ending its first number in a glorious feedback duel.
BTW, we had fun talking to political comic Paula Poundstone for a story in yesterday's paper. Click the link, if you missed it.
If you are a political junkie like me, you may enjoy this profile of NBC's political director Chuck Todd by the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz.
NBC is announcing today that former SNL star Jimmy Fallon will succeed Conan O'Brien as the host of Late Night when Conan succeeds Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show next year. The Jimmy Fallon-Tina Fey Weekend Update duo was easily among the best ever in that segment, so it was hard to see Fallon struggle in his attempt at a film career. Maybe this will be a good move for him. (AP photo by Evan Agostini.)