Wow. That Sketch Was Stunningly Bad
I haven't watched SNL for years. I'm not interested in having my beliefs lampooned, or the people I admire unfairly maligned. But most of all, as Ace noted, the show hasn't been funny for ages.
This particular sketch was so bad it should have been introduced by "Leonard Pinth Garnell," the stuffy character Dan Akroyd used to play on the original SNL in the seventies, (yes, this dates me.) In those sketches, he would scornfully introduce a short performance of "Bad Conceptual Theater",
"Bad Playhouse", "Bad Cinema", "Bad Opera", "Bad Ballet", etc and then sit back end enjoy the sheer awfulness of it.
"Bad SNL Comedy Sketch" should be added to the list.
You know why the Chuck Hagel sketch was so "Exquisitely awful?" (As Pinth-Garnell would have put it.) Because they turned the truth on its head. They made Chuck "Dum Dum" Hagel into the smart, reasonable guy at the hearing, and the smart, reasonable Republicans who had questioned him about his borderline antiSemitc remarks from the past, look like moronic doofuses obsessed with Israel. Anyone who watched the hearing knows how 180 degrees out of whack that is. The real Chuck Hagel stumbled through the hearing with a dazed, deer in the headlights look on his face. The Chuck Hagel SNL presented had the air of a smart and confident public servant patiently putting up with idiotic Republican hijinks.
The sketch's lowpoint was when SNL's Chuck Hagel refused to fellate a donkey for Israel (*groan*) and Senator Rick Scott piped in with "Hey, I'll do it for Israel, bring me the donkey!" (*cringe*)
"There... That wasn't so funny now, was it?" Pinth Garnell would say.
And I would add, if a conservative had portrayed a black Democrat that way, the cries of racism would have been deafening. And they would have had a point. What the @#$% was that all about? What quirk in Scott's character were they exaggerating there for comic effect?
I've always heard that comedy requires an element of truth (that is comically exaggerated) for it to be successful. You don't take the opposite of the truth and base the sketch on that, and expect it to be funny.
The hearing was a disaster for Hagel, and everyone on the right and left knows it.
That's why the sketch was garbage and needed to be canned.