September 21st, 2008
03:11 PM ET
10 years ago

SNL mocks McCain-Palin for second-straight week

Darrell Hammond portrayed McCain on SNL Saturday night.

Darrell Hammond portrayed McCain on SNL Saturday night.

(CNN) - Saturday Night Live, the longtime NBC sketch comedy show that has arguably wielded significant influence this presidential election season, skewered the McCain-Palin ticket for the second straight week in a row Saturday.

In the show’s opening sketch, a Darrell Hammond impersonation of John McCain is shown in an advertising studio recording his tagline for a bevy of negative - and ridiculously false - campaign ads. The ads level such allegations as Barack Obama wants healthcare coverage for the entire universe (including Osama bin Laden) and supports tax cuts for pedophiles.

The sketch also takes a dig at McCain's age, portraying the Arizona senator as unfamiliar with digital recording technology (After he is told it is a new technology McCain says, "Like 8-track?")

Politico reported Saturday the sketch was actually conceived by former SNL writer Al Franken, the current Democratic challenger to Norm Coleman's Minnesota Senate seat.

SNL has already proven its ability to crystallize emerging campaign narratives this election cycle, widely credited with raising a general perception the media was in love with Obama during the primary election season in a series of sketches last winter. SNL's portrayal of Sarah Palin last weekend also synthesized several questions raised about the Alaska governor's readiness to serve as vice president.

With a weekly viewership stretching into the millions that reaches a swath of (mostly young) voters who aren't as closely following the ins and outs on the campaign trail, SNL has a clear ability to shape general perceptions of both presidential tickets in the final stretch of the race for the White House.

Responding to SNL's depiction of McCain, spokesman Tucker Bounds said, "Saturday Night Live is funny, Barack Obama showing no sign of life or leadership during a banking crisis is not funny."

Filed under: John McCain • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (457 Responses)
  1. Jessica

    I think that the author of this article is a little disillusioned if he thinks that SNL has an ability to shape general perceptions of candidates. Most young voters, like myself, see SNL for what it is....entertainment.

    September 21, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. Independent

    yeah, kind of like the right wing radio talk show hosts who have been beating up on Obama everyday for several months now. You don't hear anyone complaining about that.

    September 21, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. Sarah Bell, Cleveland, OH.

    Make an educated vote. Vote Barack Obama. He won't speak to you like you're a clueless child. Obama/Biden '08

    September 21, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Alex

    what they were showing both times is the truth....

    September 21, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. M

    I am glad that SNL is being tough on the "Palin & McCain" ticket. Maybe it will help open the eyes of many who think they can do no wrong. I will be watching SNL this election season. Kudos to them!

    September 21, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. Andrew

    SNL is violating the law by illegally contributing to the Obama campaign. It uses sketches written by democrats, so it is just a puppet of the democratic party The more liberal media shows its bias, the more it is obvious that they are lying.

    Vote for McCain/Palin – they have the integrity and determination to work for the country and for the people who elect them, they will fight corruption and fix the economy.

    September 21, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. Andrew

    As long as McCain and Palin refuse to give meaningful interviews, SNL may be the most effective means for bringing their lies and distortions into the light for examination and ridicule.

    September 21, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. Palin has more experience than Obama

    It was funny. Now I am sure some Obama backers will love it but hate if they make fun of Obama. There are also some Repubs that are mad at this but will laugh at one done with Obama. To both of those group I say give it a rest. You have to laugh sometimes and see that sometimes things are done just for a laugh.

    September 21, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. Natasha

    The biggest joke is that Obama and McCain are leading a close race. This should be the easiest decision in modern history.

    September 21, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. Johnny

    Since the MSM is not doing their jobs vetting our barbie doll/ trophy VP candidate and McCain's ability to tell the truth, someone has to do it.

    September 21, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. Debra

    I don't necessarily agree that younger viewers are not following this race for the White House closely. Actually, thanks to the efforts of the Obama campaign, I am seeing younger people coming out in droves and participating actively in their democracy for the first time in my 50 years, as most strongly evidenced by the voter turn-out during the democratic run-off. I do believe that they, along with minorities and women, hold the key to who will be occupying the White House come January. While I was and still am a Hillary Clinton supporter, and will always believe that we did not necessarily place the most deserving candidate on the ticket, I fervently support the Obama/Biden ticket, and hope the American public can see through the distortions and the innate racism that probably dogs us all to varying degrees, to bring true change to Washington.

    September 21, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. Nee

    As funny as it is, it always backfires; adding to the perception that the media is in the tank for Obama. It backfired really badly in 2004, a year that saw John Kerry lose to the worst president in the history of this country.

    Why? Because if Joanne Shmoe sees Sarah Palin as being someone she can relate to, and you are mocking Sarah Palin, you are mocking Joanne Schmoe.

    And Joanne Schmoe usually lives in Ohio.

    September 21, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. Celinda

    SNL didn't "rais[e] a general perception that the media was in love with Obama." The perception already existed. And it continues to exist. The US voters don't need SNL to point this out; anyone paying a bit of attention can see it.

    September 21, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. Darryl Gaines

    so now we must be grateful for the only 3 people in the media that exposes McCain for the LIAR he IS..Joy Behar, Frank Rich, and Lorne Michaels ..THANK YOU

    September 21, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. totally neutral

    Anyone in the public spotlight is fair game for comedians, if this humor is how you decide who your leaders should be........
    perhaps you are too stupid to be allowed to vote.

    September 21, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. mike

    I cant believe the media,this country is going thru the worst presidency in american history.Thank you Supreme Court for stopping the recount back in 2000,now look at what it got us,George Bush did nothing to stop the terriost attacks on sept 11,but became a hero instead,the media didnot hold him countable for anything to do with 911,even though George Bush was warned about 9ii two months before it happend,in now the media is doing the samething,this media is not holding the Bush administation accountable for this bad economy,in fact the media is trying to blame the democrats for George Bush mess,imagine if a democrat was president at this time,the media in the republicans will be calling the democrats the worst politicans in american history,so why is the media is not blaming the republicans for this mess,every news channel to turn to calls it a by-partisen can it be by-partisen when George Bush been in charge of the country for 8 years,i dont think the media will call it a by-partisen matter if a democrat was in charge.the democrats would be blamed 100%.

    September 21, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. Jess

    Totally deserve it!! Let's see what Cindy whiner has to say over a TV SHOW!!!..

    September 21, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. arlene, CA

    great, I love SNL, keep 'em coming !!

    September 21, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. Brian

    No one watches SNL. If a significant number of people are swayed by SNL horrible sketches, we have bigger issues.

    September 21, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. Susan 4 Obama

    Call a spade a spade. John McCain is a liar and I'm glad someone is calling him on it.

    September 21, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. AdamW

    McCain doesn't need SNL to destroy him, he can do it on his own. He is a typical politician- greddy, manipulative and mad for power.

    September 21, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Jeff

    The McCain/Palin ticket is just too scary for words.

    We've got an unknown, untested, and insincere hockey mom who's "foreign policy" experience is Nil. She's facing an investigation that, in my opinion, has her skirting the edge of an obstruction charge, if not the definition of corruption that she claims to be against. And she's so far down in the pockets of big oil, and thinks the only way out of the energy crisis is "drill baby drill". I hope to God if McCain is elected, that his VP is kept to such historic and constitutional roles as leading the Senate and going on goodwill trips to places nobody's ever heard of. (How the heck did Cheney get so much authority anyway? Oh yeah, because Bush didn't have a clue what he was doing and was too stupid to listen to people who knew what they were talking about.)

    McCain is a true American hero. Nobody disputes that..but he's just so ready to veto anything from the appropriations committee that nothing will ever get done....and he thinks the war in Iraq is a good idea. Tell me again why we're there?

    At least Obama has SOME foreign policy experience, and is smart enough to listen to advisers. He had the smarts to pick a running mate with strengths in the area where he's weak, and one who KNOWS how the Senate works and how to handle it.

    September 21, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. Tony

    "Barack Obama... supports tax cuts for pedophiles."

    That's about as valid as Obama's claim that McCain wants tax cuts for oil companies, since he wants tax cuts for ALL companies in America. But hey, why not focus in on only a select few benefactors of the policy? I guess the dishonest tactic wouldn't be as effective if Obama went around saying "McCain wants tax cuts for organic farms!"

    The only difference is that Barack Obama is actually repeating his lie over and over again, whereas SNL had to make a stupid sketch to come up with things that McCain has never said.

    The other funny thing is that the past few Fact Checks that CNN has performed on Obama have shown him to be a liar. Not to mention over 70% of Obama's ads are negative ads filled with these various lies.

    September 21, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. Matt

    Hammond was good, but the writing of the skit itself was painfully unfunny – as the non-reactions of the audience made clear. The Fey/Palin skit was much, much better.

    September 21, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. Suzanne Schecker

    why don't you link hte skit and let people decide for themselves..I thought it was pretty funny and not far off the mark....Obama's ads can go a little over the line but they are at least based in truth...McCain's people just make crap up and the stupid media treats them as if they were serious concerns....

    September 21, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
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