Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Greatest SNL Political Skits from the Past Four Years

Saturday Night Live’s political skits are often feats of comedic genius. These are my favorite SNL political skits.

In the first skit, SNL’s Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton address the role of sexism in the 2008 Presidential campaign. The portrayal of both politicians is hilarious.

Contrary to popular perception (including until fairly recently my own) Sarah Palin never actually said, “I can see Russia from my house.” What she actually said was, “You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.” Tina Fey’s spoof on the comment stuck.

The second skit is my favorite. Sarah Palin (the real one, not the visually identical Tina Fey) joined Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler on Weedend Update. The heavily-pregnant Amy Poehler performs the Sarah Palin Rap that is full of references to several notable comments Palin made on the campaign trail. It mentions her use of Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers to attack Obama, her involvement in the “Bridge to Nowhere” scandal, and the inane discussion of “Joe the Plummer” which consumed the coverage of the presidential election for a few days in 2008. (Too be clear I describe the Joe the Plumber discussion as inane because I find the phrase gimmicky and annoying; the discussion of the effect of competing tax policies is substantive and important.)

The third skit is from this election cycle. The SNL Fox News Undeclared Presidential Candidates Debate spoofed Sarah Pain, Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann, and Jimmy McMillan. The debate was based on the first Republican Presidential Debate of the 2012 cycle which I profiled back in May 2011. The video has several jokes involving Obama’s order to send Seal Team 6 to kill Osama Bin Laden which had occurred shortly before the skit was written.

The fourth skit was inspired by Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage. It features SNL’s George Bush comforting SNL’s Joe Biden who is depressed that President Obama is getting all of the credit for endorsing gay marriage, even though he had done so first.

I look forward to another election season filled with SNL political skits.
--Jason Beets

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