Seth Meyers discusses politicians' role on Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live for decades has lampooned Americas political leaders and political wanna-bes. With the presidential election just a few weeks away now, both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, or their imitators, are taking their turns in the hot seat. But perhaps nothing will ever rival the "gift" SNL got when Sarah Palin ran for vice president, comedian Seth Meyers says.
As Saturday Night Live's head writer and host of the show's "Weekend Update" segment, Seth Meyers eagerly awaits the presidential election every four years.
In 2008, Meyers and alum Tina Fey co-wrote the show's award-winning parodies of Sarah Palin.
"There's never going to be anyone quite like that again," Meyers said recently.
The Saturday Night Live team, Meyers explained, "knew this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, where a presidential candidate chose a vice presidential running mate that looked exactly like the most famous person on our show."
"If it was going to happen again, somebody from the campaign would probably say 'hey, we shouldn't do this.," Meyers said.
The 2012 campaign season may lack a Sarah Palin, but Meyers has found plenty of comedy in this election year. Meyers called Clint Eastwood's appearance at the Republican National Convention a Palin-like gift that Meyers wrote into the season premiere, in a sketch featuring Bill Hader as Clint Eastwood, co-starring in a production of "Eastwood and Chair."
But viewers of Saturday's season premiere may have noticed a bit of a shift in the comedy White house.
Comedian Jay Pharoah has replaced longtime Obama impersonator Fred Armisen.
"If Obama wins re-election, Fred is likely not going to be at the show for another four years. And so you try to find a time to get people used to the new President on the show," Meyers said. "Jay Pharoah ... we really like his impression."
Lampooning Mitt Romney is somewhat difficult, Meyers said, comparing him to John Kerry, who Meyers himself imitated back in 2004.
"There's not much of a hook or handle," he said. "It's very hard to exaggerate gravitas for comedic effect. Or squareness, which I feel like both of them had."
But still, Romney's incidents where he's said things he's wished he could take back have provided the sort of fodder that SNL can use.
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