After the opening VP debate sketch, I was ready to offer SNL unqualified praise. I laughed a lot, and was impressed by Fey (her best performance as Palin yet), Sudeikis (not a spot-on impression of Biden, but a spirited performance that captured something of the essence of the man), and the writing. (Queen Latifah as Gwen Ifill was fine, too, though not all that Ifill-ish).
Unfortunately, I kept watching. More to the point, I kept watching long enough to see a sketch about the bailout bill that seemed to have been written by William Kristol, with an assist from Jonah Goldberg. Except not as funny.
Certainly the current financial crisis is complex, and there is plenty of blame to go around. But to try to pin this on the lower-middle class people (many of them minorities — hey! something for Kenan Thompson to do) who took out risky loans (rather than the predatory lenders who made the loans, and authored the fine print) is ludicrous.
And though many Democrats have been ineffectual or complicit in allowing the financial sector to run wild, this mess is the GOP’s baby, born out of their three-decade push to undo the protections put in place after the last depression. Pelosi and Frank certainly earned some mockery, but where were Boehner, Roy Blunt, Mitch McConnell, and Hank Paulson? Ben Bernanke? His predecessor, Mr. Andrea Mitchell? Where was John McCain? Where, for that matter, was Phil Graham?
I suppose most of these people are too obscure, and hard to imitate. (Barney Frank is well within Armisen’s abilities, and Nancy Pelosi is an attractive woman, so Kristin Wiig can play her exactly as she plays Campbell Brown, or any other “real” person she portrays: by putting on a wig. Hey, maybe that’s how she got her name!) But how many viewers who aren’t right-wing bloggers know who George Soros is?
In the name of “balance,” I expect to see a sketch portraying Richard Mellon Scaife next week.