I was in the audience at last weekend's Saturday Night Live's taping and I was embarrassed for the saps onstage. If there was a signal moment of the campaign when pop-culture got too schmoozy with politics, this was it. Not because the opening sketch of the Democratic presidential debate was not funny (it wasn't) or was recycled from the previous week (it was), but because this skit lacked any bite at all (worse, cue cards notwithstanding, they still managed to mangle the pronunciation of Dmitri Medvedev). This was all the funny-pushers at SNL could find to poke fun of? That she's kind of pushy? What about the "it's 3 a.m. and your child is asleep" ad by Hillary (Suggestion: "It's 3 a.m. -- do you know where your husband is, Hillary?")?
Strangely the skit depicts Barack Obama as stupid and monosyllabic -- akin to Trey Parker and Matt Stone's depiction of Matt Damon in the movie Team America. Moreover, normally funny Fred Armisen does an atrocious impersonation to boot.
The sad fact is, both SNL and Hillary's campaign are on the skids and so they both need and self-promote each other, regardless of the nausea and lack of laughter produced from the audience. Hillary loves it when she is lampooned. SNL loves it when she name-drops them at a debate. Both sides win. The loser, of course, is us, the schmucks who have to sit through this crap, but also the media, who feel they should report this as news for some reason (the only newsworthiness of the event, as I was told by one of SNL's writers, was that Hillary awkwardly bumped into Rudy Giuliani backstage). Even post-Soviet Russia's puppet shows produced more biting political satire than SNL. The knock on the Washington press corps is that it's too close to the powers that be in the White House -- seems the same could now be said for our pop-cultural establishment.