Saturday Night Live returned this weekend, revealing a flicker of hope that a program known for its biting political satire may wake from its slumber at long last.
The opener, featuring former SNL standout Tina Fey, featured a faux C-Span segment in which Obama (Jay Pharoah) defended his Affordable Care Act–again.
The sketch mostly included Obama’s talking points for the act–improved health care, expanded coverage–ignoring the mountain of frightening headlines associated with the new law until the waning seconds. Higher costs. Less coverage. Job losses. Confusion writ large.
Obama allowed regular Americans to sing the new law’s praises, with one woman declaring she now is “licking hella subway poles” because health care is now free.
A father and son appeared next, with the father bemoaning how his son can now be covered up until the age of 26 under the new plan. That is true, but is it a political comedy show’s job to trot out the president’s bullet points, or point to how the government isn’t living up to its promises?
The show managed to mock Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) with a Dr. Seuss routine, riffing on Cruz’s filibuster earlier this week. The modern SNL never lets a chance go by to torment the right.
The sketch ended by highlighting the confusion some feel toward the intricacies of Obamacare, and Pharoah’s Obama mumbling he hadn’t done a good enough job explaining it. Perhaps the new season will be different after all.