Sunday, December 05, 2010

TV: SNL as a TGIF staple

As we charted the decay of Saturday Night Live over and over, Ty would tell us from time to time about an e-mail whining that Democrats can be funny. Of course they can. When did we ever say that they couldn't be?


The issue with Saturday Night Live wasn't that they were Democrats. The issue is that they've become a Democratic Party organ. Never before in the history of the show had that happened. By the start of 2008, the humor was gone.

Not because they weren't even-handed -- although they weren't even-handed. Acting like some cable niche show, the network institution began catering not to an audience seeking humor, but to one needing to have their ego stroked and their minds coddled.

It wasn't pretty. And it has continued. Never before have they put so many orange cones around a president. In fact, never before have they ever deemed any president off limits. But that's what's happened with Barack Obama. A few weeks back, so many lefties were thrilled with a bad skit and friends at Saturday Night Live were insisting to us that they had taken the training wheels off and would treat Barack the same as any other president.

They weren't doing any such thing and no one should have been thrilled. The skit featured Fred Armisen doing his dead-on Barack Obama (the problem has never been Fred's impersonation, it's always been the lack of material for him) and Will Forte playing China's President Hu Jinato.

Was that skit really making jokes about Barack? No. It was a childish skit, something a middle school kid would think up, where the giggle is sex. Ha-ha, there's Hu Jinato 'presenting' with his ass up in the air. That was the entire joke -- done over and over.

WikiLeaks is leaking and the Barack administration isn't happy. So Saturday Night Live last night did the cowardly thing: It attacked WikiLeaks.

A brief skit (3:43) found Bill Hader making like Julian Sands as he played Julian Assange the public face of WikiLeaks in a skit called "WikiLeaks TMZ" and the joke was that WikiLeaks, to get attention, was running with trashy sex gossip.


A skit that got its biggest laughs from having a nurse declare she was both a nurse and a prostitute and from 'spoofing' Hillary with a crotchless shot really wants to pretend WikiLeaks is dumbing down?

If Saturday Night Live gets any dumber, it's going to be Perfect Strangers.

What used to be bright and youthful comedy is now a permanent leer where the writers desperately try to turn everything into the most simplistic sex joke. In fact, "sex reference" is better because most of what they do now doesn't rise to the level of "joke" -- not even that of a knock-knock joke.

Their WikiLeaks skit was cowardly and disgusting and made you wonder how low Saturday Night Live would have gone during Watergate if it had been on the air then and the head writer had donated to Richard Nixon's campaign?

It's not that you can't be left and funny or left and artistic. You can be. But Saturday Night Live is neither funny nor artistic these days.

Contrast the attack on WikiLeaks with a Fridays skit in 1981 called "Road To El Salvador" which featured Larry David as Bing Crosby, Maryedith Burrell as Dorothy Lamour and John Roarke as Bob Hope in which they take on the empire and call out war concluding with a song featuring the following lyrics:

Couldn't the economy use another war?

Couldn't the US economy use another war?

You tell us it won't be our boys dying to keep others free

Do they think the American people have so short a memory?

They tell us, don't ask questions, you're doing this for Mom

That's what they told us about Vietnam.

When you're making jokes from the left, you can do that and more, you can be damn funny in the process. But when you're an organ for the Democratic Party? You're just not funny.

And what a telling and sad moment for Saturday Night Live as they portrayed Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as creeps and perverts and worse. It's the sort of 'comedy' that ruined Bob Hope.

And how telling that they attacked WikiLeaks, following in the foot steps of their most mocked politician of the last two years: Sarah Palin.

Last week, Amazon dropped WikiLeaks, the Library of Congress banned it, federal employees were told not to visit it on work computers or their own home and personal computers and the US military is blocking WikiLeaks from the computers of those serving overseas. But the once 'brave' SNL wants to make fun of is WikiLeaks?

How sad.

As conservatives and centrists called for the arrest and murder of Julian Assange, our 'brave' sketch comedy show joined in the pile on. It's not a leftist show.

No leftist show would have joined the attacks on Julian Assange and the certainly wouldn't have done so last week which was the 56th anniversary of the US Senate passing their censure (67 voted for it, 22 against) of Senator Joe McCarthy for his witch hunts (December 2, 1954).

Saturday Night Live's not a leftist show. It's a weekly fan club meet-up for the Cult of St. Barack, it's a Democratic Party organ and it's just not funny.

Jim note 12/5/2010: I typed Ava and C.I.'s article above and I made a mistake I've corrected. See my note.
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