'SNL' Writers: Obama's 'Smooth' and Romney's Kids Are Fair Game

Interviewed by Maureen Dowd, "SNL's" Jim Downey and Seth Meyers don't come out and confirm their intent to only destroy Republicans (and their children) in the coming months, but you need not read between the lines to see that this is the intent.

Let me translate for you:

“I don’t think it’s going to be as much fun as 2000 and 2008,” Jim Downey, the show’s inimitable satirist, told me. “When you have an incumbent president, it’s not wholly new.

Translation: I'm pretending we ridiculed Obama during the '08 campaign, which we didn't, and I am now making lame excuses as to why we won't ridicule him in 2012. And in the next sentence, Seth Meyers is going to completely contradict what I just said.

“Comedy writers are incredibly promiscuous, and we want as many targets as possible,” agreed Seth Meyers, the clever “S.N.L.” head writer and “Weekend Update” anchor. “We really slowed down in the second four years of Bush.”

Translation: The reason I say, "we want as many targets as possible," is to make it sound as though we also want to target Democrats, when of course we don't. And when I say, "we really slowed down" during Bush's second term, that means that, unlike Obama, we hit Bush hard during his first term, but I'm hoping people miss that rhetorical sleight of hand. Oh, and please don't notice that I said it's hard to mock a President during his "second four years" and Downey said  "incumbent" -- which one is as soon as they take office. What we really meant to say was, "We are shameless, unfunny shills for Obama."

[Palin], like Joe Biden, inspires what Meyers calls “wet comedy” (as opposed to dry), and they both have what Downey calls “handles,” quirks of speech and personality that both writers and performers can latch onto.

Translation: And yet, even though Biden is the ripest target for comedy in decades, we take it much easier on him than we do the "dry" Romney because we don't want to hurt Obama. Please understand that "SNL" is not about laughs. It's about protecting the powerful when we agree with them. Political satire is dead in this country. With the help of Stewart and Colbert, we killed it. We're just holding up the corpse to protect ourselves from criticism and hoping no one notices.

The five Romney sons have also taken a ribbing. The hilarious Bill Hader, playing an Anthony Perkins in “Psycho” version of the Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, interviewed the “S.N.L.” sons, noting: “I like creepy things and I love these guys. ... Our thanks to Stephen King for creating those boys.”

Meyers says that “there’s something funny about a candidate with all these fully grown adult sons. When it comes to an adorable competition, they certainly don’t beat Sasha and Malia.”

Translation: When it comes to our mission of protecting Obama, the children of Republicans are not off-limits.

“S.N.L.” has always struggled with its Obama impersonation because Obama is “smooth without big handles[.]”

Translation: There's plenty of funny to mine about Obama's many gaffes (corpse-man?), his bizarre teleprompter addiction, the failed policies, lavish vacations, and golf fetish, but we won't go there because those are the kind of jokes that might stick and hurt Our Precious One's re-election chances.

Meyers recalled that, after the Navy Seals raid that killed Osama last year, the show did a sketch with Obama “getting his mojo back.”

Translation: We are White House Palace Guards who love us some Barack. 


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