"Obama's president. Dat's what I heard."
I’m going to continue to beat this room temperature horse at least one more time to suggest what potential there would be if Seth Meyers and the writing staff at Saturday Night Live applied there impressive creative talents equitably across the political spectrum.
Of course this morning’s news narrative was the “Etch-a-Sketch” remark by one of Mitt Romney’s advisers. I’m sure the SNL writers are already etching a sketch with hilarious Jason Sedakis as I type this. Meanwhile, there’s an entire spectrum of real news reported in places outside the traditional media (The Blaze, Michelle Malkin, Breitbart, Pajamas Media, Townhall to name a handful) whose stories would lend themselves nicely to the gang at SNL, if only they were interested in parodying not one but both political sides.
Michelle Malkin has especially been covering the President’s green energy boondoggles (on the collective dimes of the 53% who pay Federal Income Taxes). She’s throwing out the term “pond scum” to encapsulate the seemingly absurd notion that we can supplant fossil fuel production with algae.
So I sent my Weekend Update suggestion to Seth Myers this morning that showcases the potential jokes that could be rendered if only he would go there. My example was:
Tragedy struck today when hundreds of ducks vital to President Obama’s algae fuel delivery system were shredded by windmills.
See how easy that was?
Here’s a related joke I penned and this one isn’t even a direct insult to the President (we know they won’t go there; can’t be branded a racist):
The Audubon Society estimates that roughly 70 endangered Golden Eagles are killed each year by Northern California windmills – or as I call it: Green with Irony.
I mean this stuff is just screaming to be parodied. Green energy-producing windmills are killing off eagles. But that’s not newsworthy to the Left because it doesn’t fit their narrative. Only Caribous are displaced by oil-gas pipelines. Spotted owls are displaced by home-building. But hey, a green windmill kills an endangered bird and so what? The ends justify the means. It was worth it – is the Left’s Machiavellian view.
Way back when the Navy Seals killed Osama Bin Laden, I imagined how Weekend Update recurring character Anthony Crispino (played by Bobby Moynihan), the guy who hears bits and pieces of the news via the grapevine and then gets the stories completely wrong, would cover the Bin Laden news. I came up with this possible line:
So, uh, d’ya hear the news, Seth? After all these years they finally found Obama’s birth certificate. Yeah, it was hiding out in Pakistan. It was under water, too, because they had to send seals in to capture it.
Well, wouldn’t you know? That week, they DID do a Crispino bit on Weekend Update, and he did, naturally, cover the Bin Laden story. He did it this way (paraphrased from memory):
Did ya hear, Seth? They finally killed Oksana Baiul the Russian figure skater. Yeah, Nancy Kerrigan’s really happy about it.
When I heard that joke, I laughed and thought their concept was better than mine (that’s why they’re the pros and I’m an amateur). It still somewhat buttresses my point, I think, that even if they hadn’t come up with Oksana Baiul, they’d have never done the Obama birth certificate line I produced. Wasn’t gonna happen. Nor has any joke that could be perceived as even slightly anti-Obama been done since.
I propose that there is one person who would’ve had a whole string of Obama birth certificate jokes as Weekend Update host, and that is Norm MacDonald.
The problem of only following one side of the news is twofold. First, you limit the pool from which funny jokes can be crafted, but second, if your audience relies mostly on that same side of news reporting, then you run the risk that the audience won’t even get the joke aimed at the Left. I call this the Norm MacDonald phenomenon. He was the only person who actually paid attention to Conservative media as he formulated his Weekend Update scripts during his mid-90s run as anchor. Many of his jokes - Bill Clinton murdering Vince Foster is the prime example – were totally lost on the audience. How would they even know who Vince Foster was if all they read were the New York Times and all they watched was Tom Brokaw or Dan Rather or Peter Jennings (or John Stewart) for their news?
Ultimately, I believe this is why MacDonald was let go. Literally, the NBC Execs didn’t think he was funny – most likely because they didn’t get the joke because they didn’t have the proper frame or reference in terms of news sources. (There was a more moderate premise floated by Don Imus that MacDonald was fired not so much for the anti-Clinton jokes but because NBC Sports Exec at the time, Don Ohlmeyer, was buddies with O.J. Simpson and didn’t appreciate all the O.J. jokes Norm perpetrated.)
Last point: Another phenomenon I find that rings true pretty unilaterally: Conservatives don’t have a difficult time laughing at jokes about Conservatives (as long as their based on truth). Heck, Michelle Malkin and many other Right Wing pundits had a field day with the Etch-a-Sketch story. Twitter hashtags were started with the purpose of naming which toy (e.g., Silly Putty) or which games (e.g., Twister, Risk) Romney best portrayed. I suggested Tinker Toys for the toy based on Romney’s ever-changing campaign themes over his last two presidential bids and suggested that, at least based on the Media’s Obama Re-election Inevitability narrative (O.R.I.N. as I’ve dubbed it), Romney’s candidacy is a Trivial Pursuit. I added that, based on the Media’s narrative of Romney as the out-of-touch multimillionaire, he’d be the board game “Yachtzee”.
In a similar fashion, I have patted myself on the back for being able to support the Left Wing entertainers’ work even if I think their political views are nutty and heinous. (See here.) I can still enjoy a Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, Morgan Freeman or Jeannine Garafolo movie and separate their performances as actors from their nonsense-spewing politics.
How can I prove this? Well, despite everything I’ve just written about SNL, I still watch it, by God. Wouldn’t you think a stark-raving Conservative like myself would not be able to tolerate such onesidedness from the Left? As Belushi would say, but NOOOOOO! I watch SNL. Always have, probably always will. It’s funny. I’m merely pointing out that it would be even funnier if they were more fair and balanced with their comic references.
Meanwhile, you would be hard pressed to find members of the Left who are able to laugh at their own shortcomings. Hence, all the jokes from the Left are about Conservatives. They don’t seem to have the ability to laugh at themselves.