Go ahead and fill in the decade for yourself: “Saturday Night Live” hasn’t been funny since the __’s. (We’ll accept any answer from the ’80s onward.) The New York magazine article to which Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert links in his tweet offers a very good explanation for this decline. SNL’s Seth Meyers confesses that he just couldn’t see anything funny in Barack Obama’s debate flame-out, never mind the previous three-and-a-half years.
“It’s boring enough when they’re talking about all this and how it will affect Americans, but when you’re sitting there trying to pull comedy out of it, it’s really bad,” Seth Meyers said. “There were people on Twitter saying: ‘You must be really happy, there’s so much in this debate. This is writing itself.’ I was like: what debate are you watching?”
We were watching the same debate that nearly 70 million other people were watching, and which managed to inspire the hilarious “like Obama at a debate” meme. Boehlert wasn’t surprised to learn that SNL almost pulled the debate sketch, which gave a less-than-flattering image of The One — even less flattering than the president’s debate performance itself. “Not memorable” was Boehlert’s review, and then he turned to another fantasy for comfort.
So, did political pressure from those crazy right-wingers finally drive SNL to make fun of Obama? And if so, could they try harder?