Since the Republicans have taken charge of the house, SNL seems to have returned to its unfunny mean-spirited ways. After giving the Obama administration a free pass, it must feel nice for the writers at 30Rock to be relevant again. New life has been breathed into the indignant court-jesters, who had been rendered nearly obsolete through two years of bending over, taking the administration’s piping and then kissing the ring.
They nearly threw their backs out.
In SNL’s opening sketch, we see the truly talented cast return to the “Tina Fey Doctrine.” This Doctrine, responsible for SNL’s dark ages, gives priority to the given political agenda du jour, while resting “comedy” firmly on the backburner. SNL decided to open with its weakest sketch in recent memory, by attacking Fox News.
Major Failure ensued.
The talented Bobby Moynahan was set to impersonate Sean Hannity. Always a gamer, with a chubby, Belushi-like charm, I was sure he’d knock it out of the park. The pretty Nasim Pedrad was slated to do Michelle Malkin. Nasim is one of the strongest female cast members to have been brought to SNL in recent years, acting as a refreshing change of pace from Kirstin Wiig’s “I’m so repetitive and annoying that it’s funny!” schtick. This was going to be epic…
…And then something happened. As the sketch began, the key players weren’t doing impressions at all. Like unenthusiastic teenagers on their last Halloween runs, they might as well have just showed up in street clothes with a drugstore mask. When it came time to do impersonations, they didn’t even give it an effort. Even more offensively, they weren’t even trying to be funny. Not a single, genuine belly laugh to be had. And believe me, I’m no tough audience. Give me a couple of beers and a whoopee cushion, and I am one entertained bumble.
The sketch did serve to perfectly encapsulate what is wrong with the entertainment industry. Conservatives are always willing to give the leftist establishment’s content a look and a chuckle when it’s warranted. It becomes a problem only when the political agenda is so repetitively blatant that it sucks out any fun to be had in the first place.
Even worse, later in the episode, Anderson Cooper made a guest appearance declaring his baby blues to be a “national treasure.” No Mr. 360, four hundred thousand viewers on a good day and dead last in your timeslot does not a national treasure make.
It should be noted, that there was one funny component to the sketch, however. Bill Hader’s hilarious impression of the ragin’ Cajun himself, James Carville. How fitting it is that when parodying an ally on the left, SNL can once again focus on the funny. With no pre-emptive agenda to push, Bill Hader simply used his James Carville impression as a vehicle to entertain, instead of a platform to attack.
A comedy show… being entertaining?
Now there’s an idea!