Here is great article from Entertainment Weekly (a valuable source for political news, obviously) on Saturday Night Live’s role in the election.
In an election where ”change” has been the million-dollar buzzword, Saturday Night Live has proved it’s still a formidable political and pop culture force…SNL’s first poststrike show on Feb. 23 â€” featuring the debut of Fred Armisen as Barack Obama, in a zeitgeist-tapping skit lampooning the media’s love affair with the Illinois senator â€” lured a season-high 7.5 million viewers, proving that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert haven’t cornered the market on topical political humor. The following week, Hillary Clinton, who had already provoked what chief Clinton impressionist Amy Poehler describes as a ”crazy media frenzy” by name-checking the aforementioned SNL skit in a debate, stopped by to stand side by side with her doppelgÃ¤nger. (”It doesn’t matter who it is, it’s really weird to stand next to someone when you’re dressed up like them,” says Poehler. ”I don’t think that will ever not get awkward.”) Three days later, Clinton won the Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island primaries, leading more than one news outlet to credit SNL for her comeback.
This article provides more evidence for the unprecendented nature of this election’s integration into pop culture. SNL has a long history of parodying politicians–but this year, their role is bigger, bolder, and better. I especially love the implication that SNL has suprassed Stewart and Colbert in the market on topical political humor. The article also discusses the controversial decision to have Fred Armisen (who is white) play Barack Obama, the cast’s excitement about the Eliot Spitzer scandal, and the trend of politicians guest hosting (McCain is actually funny??).